Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Edradour - Madeira, but No Tokay. 700 ml Need Not Apply for Import

Brett told me that I should try this one, since Edradour was not distributing its Tokay finish in the U.S. I found the Edradour Rum finish to be more palatible than the Edradour Madeira. You can taste the grape finish. but the rum finish is more lively. Duke of Perth in Chicago sells drams of the rum finish at a reasonable price. If any good acquaintances have any interest, the Madeira bottle is in my collection. Binnys sells both finishes at its South Loop Shop at Jefferson and Roosevelt.
I think that I appreciated and regret the subtle ways that free trade is stiffled in the Single Scotch Malt Industry. It seems that the U.S. decision to size its bottles at 750 ml and limit all imports to that size has eliminated distributors rights to easily import, distribute, and sell European 700 ml bottles.
The excuse cited by some is that it is easier to formulate taxes on a standard 700 ml bottle. Of course, the end result is that Scotch Whisky is limited in variety until ATF agrees to allow a given distilled single malt and vintage to be sold in the States. A simple form by the distributor that says we are selling should be enough. Product liability laws will stiffle any desire to mess up on quality.
Of course, if you are fortunate enough to be able to get on a plane and fly to the U.K., you can bring a few bottles of Edradour Tokay home VAT free from Royal Mile. And for those daring enough not to fear confiscation, sanctions or other penalties, you can order from some other overseas retailer. For all of this aggravation, we wait for a compassionate scotch drinker in ATF to liberate hobbiest from this misery. Many of us have challenges regularly imbibing on the other side of the pond. Not enough bottles get enlarged to a U.S. marketable size with a distiller or distributor who has enough patience to cut through all of the red tape.
Until then, we will be stuck with an occasional distillers choice every few years from Talisker until it gets too frustrated and tries to encourage us to tempt our better judgment, among other concerns that merit repeal of this Tory tax by ATF. The Scotch Revolution will not be Televised or will it? Perhaps, I am waiting for Godot on this one.