The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has confirmed to TheShout that it has started legal proceedings against D’Aquino Brothers Pty Ltd over claims it has produced a Scotch whisky, not from Scotland.
The move follows a report by the ABC last month which claimed that the Black Scot whisky, which is distributed in Australia by D’Aquino “lacks the unique chemical compound that identify a true Scotch”.
At the time, the Managing Director of the D’Aquino Group of Companies, Rex D’Aquino has told TheShout that the ABC has it wrong.
“The ABC news article has misrepresented the facts,” he said.
“D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd is a registered bottler of Scotch Whisky with the UK Customs and the brand ‘Black Scot Blended Scotch Whisky’ is registered on the UK Customs brand website.”
However, the SWA told TheShout that it is going ahead with legal action, saying: “We can confirm that the Scotch Whisky Association has started legal proceedings against D’Aquino Brothers Pty Ltd and a number of other parties for infringement of our trademark ‘Scotch Whisky’.
“The SWA takes the protection of Scotch whisky extremely seriously. Wherever the legal requirements that govern the production of Scotch are not being upheld, we will take action.
“As this is a live legal proceeding, we will not make any further comment at this time.”
TheShout has once again reached out to D’Aquino Brothers for comment on this move by the SWA, but they did not respond by the publication deadline.
When the ABC’s story hit last month, the President of the Australian Distillers Association, Stuart Gregor, said that the ADA’s position was clear, and that label integrity “is absolutely paramount for both domestically produced and imported spirits”.
“We promote complete and utter transparency and complicity with our members and consumers can always be certain that if a spirit is produced by a member of the Australian Distillers Association it is 100 per cent ridgy didge and as advertised on the label. We hope that the relevant authorities prosecute any fraudulent behaviour on the fringes of our industry and pursue any fakes with vigour,” Gregor said.
The case is due to be heard by Justice Middleton in the Federal Court Victoria Registry in Melbourne on August 3.