Malt Riot whisky is inspired by the story of the malt tax protests across Scotland that began in 1725. The demonstrators came together to demand a reversal on the tax on malted barley.
In Glasgow, malt stores were obstructed and excise men were chased from the city. Protestors also destroyed the home of Daniel Campbell, Glasgow’s representative in parliament at the time, who had voted for the tax.
However, Campbell was reimbursed for the damage to his home and used the funds to buy the Scottish island of Islay and part of Jura. He then encouraged local farmers to seed surplus barley and ignited the legal production of single malt Scotch whisky, according to The Glasgow Distillery Company.
The tale is celebrated through the release of the new bottling, which brings together a range of single malts from each Scotch whisky region in one blend. It uses Glasgow Distillery’s 1770 expression as the base.
Liam Hughes, CEO and co-founder of The Glasgow Distillery Company, said: “The story of the malt riots is a really powerful one for us to tell. Not only does it heavily involve the people of Glasgow taking a stand for what they believe in, but it was a catalyst that helped forge the Scotch whisky industry as we know it today.
“This story has been largely forgotten and is not widely known until now and is a wonderful example of the fiery passion and determination that continues to live on in our city.
“Glasgow is a city full of passionate people, who constantly stand up for what they believe in, igniting positive change at home and across the world; I guess it’s true what they say, people really do make Glasgow.”
On the nose, the new whisky has notes of “freshly planed oak, sweet vanilla slices and hints of floral hyacinth”. The palate brings toffee apples, followed by dry spices and caramelised pineapple. The finish offers ripples of milk chocolate, fruit and nut.
Bottled at 40% ABV, Malt Riot whisky is recommended served over ice with ginger ale or in a Whisky Sour cocktail.
Hughes added: “This year has been an extremely challenging time for all in light of Covid-19, one which we could never have envisaged six months ago and for Glasgow Distillery, the launch of Malt Riot, following on from the recent release of Glasgow 1770 Single Malt Whisky – Triple Distilled Release No.1, is hopefully the start of some return to normality.”
Malt Riot Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is available to buy from the Glasgow Distillery website and from independent retailers at an RRP of £25 (US$31.50).