Glasgow Distillery has taken the ultimate prize in this year's Scottish Whisky Awards.

Now in their second year, the awards are a comprehensive year-round programme which assesses Scotch whisky producers in both business performance and taste. This year, it involved a judging panel of 40 experts and the blind tasting of 155 Scotch whisky products.

Judges praised Glasgow Distillery for its great progress in product development, marketing and securing a range of new international deals.

It was also the highest-performing distillery in the taste competition, securing two gold medals. Chair of the judging panel, Professor Alan Wolstenholme, said all the winners were to be congratulated in what has been "this most challenging of years".

“This year, we have seen distilleries, suppliers and producers step up to support their local communities when they needed it most," he said.

"Scotch Whisky continues to demonstrate its strength, resilience, creativity, and community spirit.  It is an industry which continues to shine brightly in good times and bad. We in Scotland can all be very proud of this."

READ MORE: The full list of 2020 winners of the Scottish Whisky Awards

UK borrowing hits new record



Britain borrowed a record £215 billion in the first seven months of the financial year, highlighting the challenge facing finance chancellor Rishi Sunak as he prepares new spending plans.

Borrowing in October alone came in at £22.3bn, while September’s borrowing was revised sharply lower. However, debt remained only slightly lower than a 60-year high as a share of the economy.

The government is on course to borrow close to £400bn this financial year, the highest borrowing relative to the size of the economy since World War Two.

“This is the responsible thing to do, but it’s also clear that over time it’s right we ensure the public finances are put on a sustainable path,” Mr Sunak said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus tax rises may be delayed until after next UK election

Consumer morale sinks to six-month low



British consumer morale sank to a six-month low in November as a second coronavirus lockdown prompted a surge in pessimism over households’ finances.

The consumer confidence index from market research firm GfK fell to -33 from -31 in October. The survey’s gauge of personal finances over the last year slid to its lowest level since December 2013.

“This will deal a blow to any future rebound because bullish consumer spending fuels the UK economy and low confidence is the enemy of recovery,” Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said.

The survey added to other signs of a deteriorating economy that prompted a new round of support from the government and Bank of England this month for businesses and workers.

The economy grew by a slower-than-expected 1.1 per cent in September, lagging other rich nations as it struggled to recover from the shock of the pandemic even before the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

“The second lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for the UK’s high-street retailers and it’s no surprise that our major purchase sub-measure is once again mired deep in negative territory,” Staton said.

READ MORE: 'Consumer confidence and demand is the only thing that will get our economy moving again'

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