1 — Ronald Reagan was wrong. His small Government ethos was most famously encapsulated in the quote: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help”, offered up at a press conference in 1986. Former President Donald Trump certainly styled…


1 — The words for generic spirits types are not particularly well defined. If someone offers you a glass of Gin, Rum, Vodka or Whisky (or even Whiskey), you probably have a vague idea of what you’re about to drink. But in reality, there are no global standards guarding them.


A non-descript office building in Brandywine

1–1209 North Orange Street, in the rather lovely-sounding neighbourhood of Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, is the registered head office of the Apple Corporation. This isn’t perhaps that interesting, until you realise it’s also the registered head office of Coca-Cola. And Walmart. And Alphabet. And General Motors, Verizon, American Airlines, Yum…


A Happy Meal Design

1 — John Bitove is possible the most commercially successful designer in the world. He’s a Canadian businessman by day, but back in 1993, he founded Toronto’s then nameless NBA franchise. …


Wolraad Woltemade in heavy seas off the coast of Portugal towing the FPSO Bonga from Newcastle to Nigeria

1 — The recent Suez Canal closure lifted after six days, an improvement on the previous closure after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which lasted eight years. During the war, Egyptian forces scuttled ships at both ends of the canal to block it, trapping 15 ships from eight countries in between…


Monkey Shoulder’s Cement Mixer

1 — Blended Malts are about to grow bigger. In 2005, family owned spirits giant Grants launched Monkey Shoulder, an affordable blended malt made from their three Speyside single malts — Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie. The brand smouldered away in the background until 2012 when they took it the US…


1 — Freight rates are shooting up. Whilst most Britons will look to Brexit as the cause, turns out we’re not that important in the global context — we don’t ship much in and out of the UK compared to many other countries. The rise is really down to the…


1 — Australia has a tolerance of 1.5% for the ABV in its wines. This feels high, especially for a country famed for its punchy shiraz. A 14.5% bottle could be as high as 16%; nudging fortified wine territory. While the EU requires a tighter 0.8% tolerance for imports, it…


1 — The Biden Administration has temporarily removed the import tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This is unalloyed good news — any tariff is terrible for an industry as dependent on exports as Scotch Whisky is. …


1 — The famous “Nikka from the Barrel” Japanese Whisky (available at many UK supermarkets) is not Japanese. Following the Japanese Spirits Association’s long-overdue issue of a set of standards for Japanese Whisky, Nikka has come clean and admitted the multi-award winning whisky does not comply.

As a bit of…

Paddy Fletcher

Co-Founder of the Port of Leith Distillery

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