Major Scotch Whisky exhibition opens in Glasgow

30 May 2013

An exhibition exploring the rich heritage of Scotland's national drink opens in the main hall of Glasgow's Mitchell Library tomorrow (Friday 31 May).

The Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass exhibition created by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) brings together an array of images and artefacts from several Scotch Whisky producers and enthusiasts. Many items on display have been stored in archives and personal collections until their inclusion in this exhibition. The display also tracks landmark events in the last 100 years which have shaped the SWA and the industry.

Scotch Whisky's rich past is showcased, highlighting its position as an iconic Scottish product and demonstrating how vital Scotch Whisky is to the country's economy and society. Scotch Whisky exports are worth around £4.3 billion a year and the industry directly employs more than 10,000 people across Scotland, many in and around Glasgow. More than 60% of Scotch Whisky produced is bottled around the greater Glasgow area.

Visitors will learn everything from how Scotch Whisky is made to how it is marketed and exported. The exhibition explains, through images and words, how the "What is Whisky?" debate of the early 20th century led to a Royal Commission report which helped establish the modern day Scotch Whisky industry.

A full size white horse made of fibre glass is included in the 'marketing' section of the exhibition. White Horse, now owned by Diageo, is a well-known brand of Blended Scotch Whisky popular in many markets around the world. The firm Mackie & Co became White Horse Distillers Ltd in 1924 following the death of Peter Mackie who created White Horse Blended Scotch Whisky. White Horse was blended and bottled by them in the north of Glasgow.

Also on display are images of whisky barrels being unloaded at the Broomielaw on the River Clyde, classic advertising campaigns and bottles from the last 100 years.

Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass was created to mark the Centenary of the SWA, the industry trade body, in 2012. The exhibition's only previous outing was its display at The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh for two months to the end of January this year.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:

"We are delighted to bring the exhibition of images and artefacts from across the Scotch Whisky industry to Glasgow. The spectacular main hall of the Mitchell Library, a building which has been part of life for Glaswegians for over a century, is a perfect setting for this display. With more than 60% of Scotch Whisky  bottled in the greater Glasgow area, you could call the city one of the spiritual homes of Scotch Whisky.

"For more than 100 years we have been committed to promoting and protecting Scotch Whisky. We hope as many people as possible will visit the Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass exhibition to find out more about the heritage of Scotland's national drink."

Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said:
"Whisky is an essential part of our shared heritage so we welcome the definitive story of our national drink and one of our most recognised international exports to the Mitchell Library.

"The exhibition also features images from Glasgow's own collection alongside images and objects brought together by the Scotch Whisky Association for what is a unique insight into this global industry."


Notes to editors

Image attached of the white horse arriving at the Mitchell Library to be put on display.

With any media enquiries and to request images please contact;
Rosemary Gallagher, SWA Communications Manager, 0131 222 9230/0743 260 5385 or

With direct enquiries for Glasgow Life please contact Gordon Boag, Media Officer, 0141 287 6418/0782 590 4240 or

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