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Dram Distillers Deploy Blockchain to Battle Bootlegging

Andrew Hamilton


Blockchain and bootlegging

Everyone loves a wee tipple, and it’s impossible to beat a Highland malt – which is why one distillery is using blockchain technology to prevent the peddling of counterfeit booze.

Scottish food is big business – despite what detractors of the deep fried Mars bar will tell you. Scotland Food and Drink report that last year alone Scottish food exports grew by 22%, up to a value of £1.5 billion. Whisky exports also increased in 2016 by £153 million, up 4%, to £4 billion.

Scotland has 98 distilleries that pepper the country’s varied landscape, and connoisseurs will tell you that each brand has its own unique flavour. It’s pretty clear that whisky is integral to Scotland – both physically and symbolically.

Now, one brand is using innovative blockchain technology to make sure that quality is protected.

The remote Ardnamurchan Distillery, nestled in the far west, near Oban and Fort William, has teamed up with brand security firm arc-net to place its limited edition whisky on arc-net’s blockchain platform. It is hoped that the public nature of the blockchain will maintain the integrity and transparency of the bottles sold across it. By scanning a QR code on the label, whisky aficionados can follow the story of their dram from distillery to supplier.

Alex Bruce, Managing Director of Adelphi, operator of the Ardnamurchan Distillery, outlined how the technology will help maintain the crucial relationship between distiller and drinker. He said: “In addition to a growing number of countries recognising Scotch Whisky’s Geographical Indication (GI), we also believe it to be essential that the consumer is able to understand the craftsmanship of making it, and for the producer to ensure the security of their route to market.”

Sean Crossey, Associate Digital Marketing Analyst at arc-net, told CoinJournal that providing security for authentic products is arc-net’s core vision. He said: “This project brings huge innovations to the spirit and whisky industry. It brings massive implications for provenance, authenticity, accountability, traceability, security, stock control, and more.  By connecting their product from the barley field to the bottle, Adelphi and the Ardnamurchan Distillery now can greatly improve their company story-telling, marking a breakthrough in their marketing activity.”

Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton

PR & Content Executive at Hutchinson Networks

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