Beverages: Scotch on the Rocks

During the late 1960s and early '70s, the copper stills of Scotland worked overtime to satisfy the fast-growing taste for the country's malt whisky. The industry grew to employ 25,000 workers, and Scotch ranked as Britain's fifth-biggest export. But after peaking in 1978 at sales of $2.5 billion, Scotch has gone on the rocks. In a report issued last week' Britain's National Economic Development Office stated that distillers are working at about 50% of capacity and that industry employment has fallen by about 28%.

Despite slower production, there is now a two-year surplus of Scotch. Reason: the whiskies that are currently...

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