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Review asks if angels’ share affects environment

The Scottish government will review whether the angels’ share from Scotch whisky maturation has health and environmental impacts.

Scotch whisky barrels angels' share
Ministers will review whether the angels’ share impacts the environment

As part of the government’s commitment to improving air quality, it is commissioning a review into the impacts of non-methane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) emissions.

This will include an assessment into the emissions that come from malt whisky maturation.

Every year, approximately 2% of whisky evaporates from casks during maturation. This is known as the ‘angels’ share’.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “Improving air quality and the health of our people and planet is an urgent priority for this government and we’re taking action across the board to deliver this.

“Last year, we published our updated air quality strategy, setting out how Scotland can achieve the best air quality in Europe.

“To support that, we are commissioning a review of the available evidence on the health and environmental impacts of non-methane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) emissions, including an assessment of the emissions from malt whisky maturation.

“Scotland’s whisky industry is extremely valuable to our economy and we recognise the sector’s commitment to good environmental practices.”

According to the Scotch Whisky Association trade body, around 22 million casks are maturing in warehouses in Scotland.

There are currently 138 operating Scotch whisky distilleries across the country.

Earlier this month, SB reported on how Chivas Brothers-owned The Glenlivet had teamed up with the University of Edinburgh and the James Hutton Institute for research purposes. Together, they are investigating whether building small dams could help distilleries in Scotland avoid closing down during dry spells and heat waves.

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