The Perfect Collection by Mr. Richard Gooding Digital Catalogue - Magazine - Page 66
UNITED STATES IMPORTS
By Joe Wilson
Head of Auction Content
hile the popularity of single malt Scotch
whisky in the United Kingdom is
considered as having really found its
feet in the 1980s, the appetite for it in the United
States was historically strong, with exports making
their way back across the Atlantic as the final page of
the prohibition act was torn up in 1930.
Distilleries such as Glen Grant and Laphroaig have
long associations with the U.S. market, and were
quick to repopulate American store shelves and bars
in the decades following Prohibition.
The surge in popularity of single malt towards
the end of the 20th century no doubt benefitted
Scottish distillers, but in the U.S. it was arguably
independent bottlers who were best served by
market developments. The change to 70cl bottles
in 1991 was incompatible with U.S. requirements
for the old 75cl size. Even today some distilleries
have not broken into the market there due to the
expense of buying their bespoke, branded bottles in
multiple sizes. Independent labels, with their simpler
packaging did not have such problems, and the
appeal of their more varied catalogues made them
favourable partners with U.S. distributors.
Names like Cadenhead’s, Douglas Laing and
Vintage Hallmark of St. James became prominent,
the popularity of which was a catalyst for certain
U.S. importers to create their own labels, a model
which found success in Italy in the 1980s through
names like Samaroli, Intertrade and Sestante.
The most notable of these was Whyte & Whyte,
a Chicago-based firm who worked in partnership
with bottlers Wm. Cadenhead and Signatory
Vintage. Through these partnerships Whyte &
Whyte were able to offer bottles that were revered
for their quality, with names like The Macallan and
Clynelish featuring prominently in their catalogue.
Significantly it also led to the inclusion of distilleries
which had recently closed, like Pittyvaich, Dallas
Dhu and Glen Albyn, or were yet to establish their
own single malt brands like Pulteney, Balmenach
and Mortlach. Whyte & Whyte’s reputation is built
on this diverse offering of rare, unusual and high
quality whiskies, something that is well reflected in
The Perfect Collection.