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29 August 2019

Scotch Whisky Association and Virginia Distillery Company reach resolution on whisky labelling case

The SWA and Virginia Distillery Company have reached a resolution on the labelling of products as 'Highland' whisky.

The Virginia Distillery Company and the Scotch Whisky Association are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution of the recent lawsuit between the parties related to product labelling.

While they had always endeavoured to ensure that their Virginia-Highland Whisky series was labelled in accordance with Federal Regulations, the Virginia Distillery Company will cease using “Highland” after it sells remaining stock. The distillery will, however, continue to label all products using ‘whisky’ which is allowed under U.S. law.

Gareth Moore, Virginia Distillery Company’s CEO, explained: “We stand behind the quality of the Virginia-Highland Whisky products and the recognition they have received the past three-plus years, but are happy to work with the Scotch Whisky Association to ensure that there is no chance of confusion about our products. 

“From the start, Virginia Distillery Company has been transparent about the nature of our products, which have been recognised for their quality, and we are committed to growing and championing the American Single Malt Whisky category.”

Lindesay Low, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs at the SWA, said: “We welcome Virginia Distillery Company’s willingness to work with us to protect the integrity of Scotch Whisky.

“With the company’s commitment to remove all references to ‘Highland’ and other Scottish indicators from their products over a phased period, we are pleased to cease the pending legal proceedings.

“We appreciate the prompt and positive attitude shown by the Virginia Distillery team in bringing the issue to resolution, removing the need for action in the courts to protect the intellectual property of Scotch Whisky”.



For more information, please contact the SWA Press Office on or call (+44) 131 222 9200