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Whisky Advocate: Whisky Industry Snaps Into Action To Fight COVID-19

March 19, 2020

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the world, and the whisky industry hasn’t been spared. As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the United States and Western Europe, health experts and government leaders are urging social distancing to slow the spread of the disease and lessen stress on healthcare systems. Meanwhile, distilleries and whisky businesses are spearheading their own efforts to mitigate the crisis.

That includes, in some cases, canceling or postponing whisky events, tours, and major festivals, like WhiskyFest Chicago, originally slated for March 27 and now rescheduled to December 11. Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest, which was set to take place April 3-4 in Hollywood, Florida, is also being postponed, with a new date coming soon. Several other U.S. whisky events have likewise been canceled or postponed.

In Scotland, more than 60 distillery visitor centers closed or temporarily suspended tours because of the coronavirus outbreak as of March 17, according to the Scotch Whisky Association. Given how fast the situation is changing, it’s “too early to assess at this stage what the impact on the Scotch whisky industry will be,” the association said in a statement. “Despite some inevitable disruption to exports, global travel retail, and tourism to distillery visitor centers, we remain confident in the long-term growth opportunities for Scotch whisky at home and abroad.” Whisky Advocate has the full story.—Zak Kostro

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