13 Mar Scottish whiskey distiller battles fakes with blockchain
When you craft and produce between 100 and 300 bottles of rare single cask and limited-edition single malt Scotch whiskey, authenticity is critical to your brand and reputation.
Located on the rugged, remote northwest coast with a view of the Scottish Highlands, Adelphi’s Ardnamurchan Distillery is reached by a one-hour drive on a winding single track road.
It seems an unlikely place to be using blockchain technology to authenticate its single malt Scotch whiskey production for discriminating buyers worldwide.
With the cost of high-end whiskey soaring to hundreds or thousands of dollars per bottle, counterfeit whiskeys are a huge risk in the $7 billion industry. The distillery owners turned to Edinburgh and Belfast-based Advanced Research Cryptology (arc-net) to implement a blockchain-based strategy to reduce that risk and provide other business benefits.
Product authentication and transparency first
Kieran Kelly, CEO of arc-net, said blockchain technology can play a critical role in food and drink security, traceability and transparency. “Adelphi is pushing the envelope of spirit and whisky production in terms of quality and traceability, and also demonstrating a realistic and pioneering approach to renewable energy and sustainability.”
Alex Bruce, Managing Director of Adelphi, said “Adelphi is thrilled to be part of arc-net’s vision to use technology to bring transparency and authenticity to the rapidly growing single malt whisky market. We have a vision for the future and using the platform is an integral component in our ability to capture and share production, process and product data with our customers.”
Blockchain technology captures information on manufacturing and distilling processes, eliminates legacy record keeping, improves operational efficiency and also provides access to data that gives the distillery more supply chain insights.
Branding and storytelling key
Blockchain technology also plays an important role in branding and storytelling for Ardnamurchan Distillery whose history reaches as far back as 1826.
Each bottle of spirits will have a certificate of authenticity and a QR code that lets the consumer trace the story of the whisky from the field where barley was sourced to the worker who bottled it, the dates of production and the journey to the customers’ home.
Alex Bruce, managing director and master blender at Adelphi, said, “By simply scanning a bottle on their phone, customers will be able to find out unrivalled detail about their spirit. Every detail of each bottle’s story will be recorded, from when it was made to where it was exported, and much more. The full Adelphi and Ardnamurchan story will be there.”
When it comes to crafting rare single malt whiskey, blockchain technology is the perfect pairing for Scotland’s Ardnamurchan Distillery.
Author: Jeff Domansky, Managing Editor
Visuals courtesy Ardnamurchan Distillery, arc-net