A FIFE company has produced the world’s first digitally-certified single cask Scotch whisky.
The revolutionary authentication process allows whisky lovers to trace the buying history of their purchase by using a Digital Provenance Certificate, as an NFT – of one-of-a kind code that gives the product information.
The hope is that the uniqueness of the code helps collectors feel more confident in their purchasing habits and makes them less worried about the possibility of buying counterfeit whisky.
The Whisky Barrel, a Fife retailer and bottling company, will be able to tell buyers all about the bottle they have purchased via the QR code on the label.
The bottle number, its cask type and the distillery it came from can all be verified on a smartphone within seconds and give traders confidence as the market for virtual whisky collection grows.
Alistair Brown, who runs The Whisky Barrel with brother Chris, said: “Blockchain technology is not just for the big companies, it’s for small companies like ours. It is the future.
“Applying a certified digital history to a physical bottle of premium Scotch whisky is the ultimate provenance for our barley-to-bottle approach.”
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have become increasingly popular over recent years, despite having been around since 2014. Since November 2017, a reported £123m has been spent on the digital contracts around the world.
Most commonly used to buy and sell artwork using cryptocurrency, NFTs create digital scarcity, meaning the owner has proof of ownership of the original piece.
In the whisky world, the launch of this pioneering process comes from The Whisky Barrell, on the label of a 30-year-old single malt distilled by Glen Moray in Elgin.
Said to have tastes of peach and pink grapefruit compote, butterfudge, vanilla and spices, the whisky is bottled at 54.7%
Each of the 152 bottles have a unique QR code which links to its corresponding Digital Providence Certificate.
Founded in 2007, The Whisky Barrel owns a vast portfolio of Scotch whiskies and has customers in over 50 countries. The company was awarded the Queen’s Award for outstanding international trade growth in 2019.
Aberdeen tech start-up CD Corp. worked in conjunction with The Whisky Barrel to facilitate this technology.
Managing Director of CD Corp, Ryan Aitken, said: “Alastair and Chris trusted us to execute our vision of immutable digital provenance certificates correlating with each bottle in a collection.
“They are at the forefront of this new process of authentication for rare Scotch whisky, and I believe their openness to a more inclusive integration of blockchain technology will reap rewards for their business long term.”