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‘Aged, But Not Flavoured’ – A Legal Challenge for Whisky Production

Karola Krell Zbinden, Patrick Löchle

This article provides an analysis of the legal provisions for the production of whisky in the EU and in Switzerland. It examines whether the requirements for ‘maturation’ and the prohibition of ‘flavouring’ are distinctive enough and compatible with innovative processes in this field. Recent technological advancements and scientific knowledge have encouraged a reimagining of traditional whisky production. The law can be understood in a way that allows some flexibility when it comes to prohibited flavoring of whisky. This contrasts with the permitted maturation process, which is more clearly defined. However, there is little explicit guidance on restricting practices that are not allowed during the production of whisky. This analysis contemplates the extent to which novel techniques may align with the established legal standards, and openly explores whether these regulations serve as rigid constraints or as adaptable frameworks.

Karola Krell Zbinden is Attorney-at-Law and Founder of Food Lex AG, Switzerland. For correspondence: <>. Patrick Löchle is a Legal Associate at Food Lex AG. For correspondence: <>.


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