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Scotch Whisky makes a splash in Shanghai
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By David Ferguson

Flowers of Scotland: Katie Targett Adams and Zoey Maciver entertained the guests at a Whisky Reception hosted by Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, in Shanghai on April 7.

Alex Salmond is the First Minister of the Scottish Government in Edinburgh, Scotland's equivalent of the Prime Minister. He is proud to be the first member of the Scottish National Party to hold the post after his party won the 2007 elections to the Scottish Parliament.

The First Minister is currently in China on an official visit, the first by a senior Scottish politician since his predecessor Jack McConnell sported the kilt here in Shanghai in 2006. On Tuesday evening in the Westin Hotel Mr Salmond welcomed several hundred guests to a reception on behalf of Scotland's best-known export product, Scotch Whisky.

"Scotland is known the world over as the home of whisky, and has been producing this iconic quality product for hundreds of years," said the First Minister. "The true international appeal of whisky has never been in doubt. Besides the appeal of our national drink," he added, "the Scottish economy also offers attractive opportunities for Chinese businesses and we look forward to continuing to deepen and strengthen our connections with this wonderful country."

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond welcomes the guests at a Whisky Reception hosted by the Scottish Governmental delegation in Shanghai on April 7.

Scotch Whisky is one of the great worldwide marketing success stories of the past two decades, in particular the top of the range Scotch Malt Whiskies. The Scotch Whisky Producers have succeeded in placing their product at the very peak of the luxury drinks market, and it has made huge inroads into what was formerly the preserve of French Cognac – indeed France itself is now the second-biggest export market after the USA. From a situation where only around half a dozen brands were available in Scotland in the early 1970s, there are now hundreds of different brands available in a range of ages and finishes.

A decent acquaintanceship with Scotch Malt Whisky has become an essential prerequisite for any world citizen who wishes to project an image of sophistication. Over 40 different whiskies were available for tasting at the reception, at which a special bilingual introduction to whisky production and whisky appreciation was given by Charles Soong of the Edrington Group, owners of two of the best-known brands in the market – The Famous Grouse Blended Whisky and The Macallan range of malts.

The best of Scotland presented with Chinese charm – The Balvenie, one of the 40 whiskies available for sampling at the reception.

The best of Scotland presented with Chinese charm - The Balvenie, one of the 40 whiskies available for sampling at the reception.

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