Even on holiday, I regard it as my civil duty to take an interest in local industries.
On a visit to Oban distillery last week, I was pleased to hear confirmation that sales of Malt Whisky are booming. Everything produced by Oban distillery (bearing in mind it is aged for 14 years before bottling) is being snapped up by eager Malt Whisky fans.
In the Scotsman, Will Lyons reports:
Last year exports of Scotch generated a record £2.5 billion, with nearly 90 million cases exported worldwide. To put that into context, for every second in the day the equivalent of 33 bottles are shipped overseas, earning the industry £78 - or £6,739,200 a day. Laid end to end, those bottles would stretch from Perth, Scotland, to Perth, Australia.
It is a mammoth industry and we should be very proud of it.
I was fascinated by the Oban distillery (If you'll pardon the self-indulgence of a Malt Whisky fan!). The town of Oban virtually grew up around the historic distillery. They insist of only producing one whisky type which leads to a small output. But the economics of the operation are supported by the distillery being a flagship which has excellent visitor facilities. The guide told me that they aim to show round over 200 people everyday.
It is particularly gratifying to see the overseas interest in Single malt whisky.
I also visited Tobermoray distillery (below) on the Isle of Mull last week. Sadly the actual operation was closed for visitors due to refurbishment, but we enjoyed visiting the shop and picked up a bottle of Tobermoray whisky and the special Iona one as well.