Our Centenary

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) celebrated its Centenary in 2012. It was founded as The Wine and Spirit Brand Association on 3 October 1912 to protect the interests of the industry. It became the Whisky Association in 1917 and then in 1942, the SWA, as it is known today.

Throughout this landmark year the SWA had a number of celebrations to ensure its 100 years of promoting and protecting Scotch was suitably marked.

From the end of November 2012 the SWA held a major exhibition at The Scottish Parliament. The exhibition entitled Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass ran in The Scottish Parliament's Main Hall for two months and moved to Glasgow's Mitchell Library during summer 2013. More details and images from the exhibition can be found below.

The Association also relaunched its website including sections dedicated to its history and Centenary.

A brochure was produced charting landmark events of the last 100 years, and a more in-depth piece on the economic contribution of the Scotch Whisky industry was also published late in 2012.

Scotland's Makar, Liz Lochhead, penned a poem especially for the SWA to mark the milestone. The poem is available to read on the SWA website where you can even see and hear Liz read it herself, introduced by Ian Curle, SWA chairman, and Gavin Hewitt, SWA chief executive: https://vimeo.com/44860119

Centenary charity cycle

In addition to the above events, SWA staff took on the challenge of cycling to all 107 distilleries across Scotland to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland and WaterAid in Scotland.

The final destination of the tour was reached on Saturday 10 November when the group cycled to Deanston Distillery in Doune.

Over the course of the year, SWA staff covered almost 2,000 miles taking in every distillery from Bladnoch in the south of Scotland to Scapa and Highland Park on Orkney. The generous distilleries also donated bottles which were auctioned by McTear's this year.

The SWA and industry partners raised more than £12,000 for the chosen charities.