Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass

16 Nov 2012

Major Exhibition to open in Edinburgh

The Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass exhibition marks the Centenary of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the industry trade body. 

The exhibition in the Scottish Parliament's Main Hall explores the history of the Scotch Whisky industry.

The exhibition brings together for the first time an array of images and artefacts from many Scotch Whisky producers and enthusiasts. Many items on display have been stored in archives and personal collections until now and have never been seen before by the public. The exhibition 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 reached a record £4.23 billion last year and the industry directly employs more than 10,000 across Scotland.

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.

Visitors will also find out why a full size model of a white horse and a papier mache giraffe are on display at a Scotch Whisky exhibition.

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

"For the last 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.

"The exhibition brings together, for the first time, a range of images and artefacts from across the Scotch Whisky industry.

"Visitors will find out exactly how Scotch Whisky is made and how marketing has changed through the decades. Everyone, from Scotch Whisky aficionados to novices will learn something new from the exhibition."

Scottish Parliament Deputy Presiding Officer, John Scott MSP, said:

"We welcome this major exhibition to The Scottish Parliament which celebrates the rich heritage of one of Scotland's most famous industries. From the science of distillation to the traditional art of cooperage and the whisky-inspired film screenings and poetry of Liz Lochhead, we look forward to hosting an informative, lively and entertaining exhibition here at Holyrood."


Notes to editors
With any media enquiries and to request images please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA communications manager, 0131 222 9230/0743 260 5385 or email

For exhibition opening hours:

call 0131 348 5200 or freephone 0800 092 7600 (Textphone users: 0800 092 7100)

For more on the SWA: Visit

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