It is hard to know what the equivalent of Glend Chinese whisky might be.

Selling knock-off Chinese cuisine under the tradename Brechin Duck, perhaps. Spurious attempts to cash in on the reputation of Scotch whisky have included at least eight Chinese brands containing variations of the word Glen rejected by the national trade mark office, and a Mexican drink which claimed to contain 100% Scotch. It failed even to qualify as whisky under the Mexican definition of the word.

These would not necessarily come to light, let alone be challenged, but for the efforts of the whisky "detectives" of the Scotch Whisky Association, who scour the globe looking for threats to the standing of the national drink. In the case of the Indian whisky Jackie Scot, it took 24 years to secure an injunction to prevent Indian distillers implying there was anything Scottish about the product.

Loading article content

While some attempts to cash in on the success of Scotch seem comical, the business has a serious side, especially when sales have dipped recently in China. Defending the "geographical indication" of Scotch whisky is vital to stop other companies taking advantage of our national beverage and key export.