The Scotch Whisky Association is hunting down Indian whisky in Europe

The Scotch Whisky Association is hunting down Indian 'whisky' in Europe

European countries are being urged to do more to stop the import of cheaper Indian 'whisky' into the EU as they undercut “genuine” whiskies.

The Scotch Whisky Assocation has claimed that, over the last five years, “extremely worrying” quantities have been imported into the region. The vast majority of Indian 'whisky' does not qualify under EU rules, according to the SWA, as producers use molasses, flavourings and little maturation.

The “majority” of the Indian spirit imported into the EU is also mixed with other whiskies and sold at “extremely low prices”, the SWA claims.

In its annual review, the group said it has raised the issue with the EU Commission and the authorities in France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, where the majority of Indian whisky is imported. Legal action has been taken against some of the importing companies.

“Some progress has been made in stopping these imports but further action by the member states concerned is necessary,” the report states. “The association will be pursuing the issue.”

Meanwhile, the SWA has enjoyed successes in China, where trademark authorities have rejected eight applications for brands that contain the word 'glen' in their names. The group argues that the use of the word is a “clear indication” of Scottish origin and should not be used for whiskies produced outside of Scotland.