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Compass Box launches last ever Vatted Malt

On Wednesday 23 November the alcohol laws in the UK will change and the term “Vatted Malt” will no longer be allowed to be printed on labels.

To commemorate the end of an era, whisky producer Compass Box is launching a limited edition bottling, aptly called the “Laste Vatted Malt”, made from a blend of Islay and Speyside single malt whiskies.

John Glaser, founder of Compass Box, explains: “At midnight on November 22, 2011, an era ends.  After that point, it will be illegal for whisky-makers to use the term Vatted Malt to describe a Scotch whisky made from the combination of two or more single malts. From 23 November 2011, this style of whisky will by law have to be labelled as a Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.  Vatted Malt is a term that has been in use since at least the 19th century.  It represents a style of whisky in which Compass Box specialise, so it has special meaning for us.  Therefore we have decided to take a lead in the education of whisky drinkers about the new legal definitions of the 5 styles of Scotch whisky. We feel that this is an important change to the law that needs to be explained to whisky lovers. As the new laws come into effect, we want to take this opportunity to educate, to look to the future and to help the industry as a whole.”

The new law, called the Scotch Whisky Regulations, was passed back in 2009, but will only come into effect on 23 November.

To promote awareness of the new laws, Compass Box will host a series of events including a Twitter Q&A with Glaser on Tuesday 15 November at 8pm GMT, a guide on the Compass Box Facebook page and a ceremonial bottling of the last bottle of Vatted Malt at a mystery location in London by Glaser by 11.59 on the 22 November.

The “Last Vatted Malt” will be available from the 23 November online from as well as in selected whisky retailers. Each of the 1,323 bottles will be signed by Glaser and will retail for £175.

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