The SWA has voiced concerns over the labelling and promotion of Dewar’s Highlander Honey

The SWA has voiced concerns over the labelling and promotion of Dewar’s Highlander Honey

The Scotch Whisky Association has admitted that it has “concerns” over Bacardi’s extension of its Dewar’s Scotch whisky brand in the US.

Late last week, just-drinks exclusively revealed that Bacardi is set to launch Dewar's Highlander Honey in the US next month. The extension, which is described as  “Dewar’s Scotch Whisky infused with Scottish Heather Honey filtered through Oak Cask Wood”, marks the first time that one of the major spirits companies has released a Scotch that has been blended with honey.

Following the announcement, the SWA said that the product did not breach any laws governing the definition of Scotch whisky. “It's actually a 'spirit drink',” a spokesperson for the trade body told just-drinks. “The regulations only cover Scotch whisky, and it's not being sold as Scotch whisky.

However, late yesterday, the SWA said: “We do have concerns that the labelling and promotion of Dewar’s Highlander Honey could distinguish the product more clearly from Scotch whisky. Under EU law, it has to be sold under the sales description ‘Spirit Drink’ and it would assist if that description was more conspicuous on the labelling to help make it clear it is not Scotch whisky.

“Promotion of the product should also not suggest it is Scotch whisky.”

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Bacardi said: “Dewar’s and the SWA have a longstanding and strong relationship, and Dewar’s is diligently working with the SWA to resolve all concerns. Dewar’s intent is to is to arrive at a product description that adequately describes the product while leveraging the equity and strength of Dewar’s.

“Dewar’s looks forward to releasing this exciting new product in line with the SWA regulations.”

Dewar's Highlander Honey is set to hit the US in the next few weeks, although there are no current plans to launch it in Europe.