Whiskey business

A new technological key to providing digital provenance for whiskey

Digitally Originated Scotch Whisky… a pioneering new blend of technology and old-school craftsmanship. And it’s done by Scottish company The Whiskey Barrel which seeks to revolutionize the whiskey authentication process using blockchain technology.

Brothers Alastair and Chris Brown have made this new process public, and as they explain, The Whiskey Barrel’s digital certificates of provenance (otherwise known as NFTs) securely transmit product information to a public ledger, which in turn fights counterfeit whisky.

“Using blockchain technology provides our customers with a secure and continuously updated record of ownership for each individual bottle, adding a layer of provenance unmatched in the Scotch whiskey industry,” said Alastair. in a prepared statement.

Scottish company The Whiskey Barrel is looking to revolutionize the whiskey authentication process using blockchain technology. (image via Whiskey Barrel)

The new technology was developed with partners CD Corp. of Aberdeen, and both companies are touting it as the world’s first Scotch whiskey collection to use digital certification to verify provenance.

Each digital provenance certificate is issued on the Solana blockchain platform, which they have chosen for what is described as carbon neutral and low power consumption.

“Alastair and Chris trusted us to execute our vision of immutable digital certificates of provenance correlated with every bottle in a collection,” said Ryan Aitken, Managing Director of CD Corp. “They are at the forefront of this new authentication process for rare Scotch whisky, and I believe their openness to a more inclusive integration of blockchain technology will reap rewards for their business in the long run.

This month saw the first bottling with this new technology, a 30-year-old whiskey distilled at Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin.

Each of the 152 numbered bottles features a unique QR code that links to the corresponding digital Provenance Certificate, which provides digital proof of ownership and provenance for each bottle.

Owners of 30-year-old Glen Moray of The Whiskey Barrel with digital Certificate of Authenticity receive VIP membership to the Whiskey Barrel Scotch Club, hosted by Solsea. The first 30 NFTs feature a unique graphic representation of the bottle, enhancing their collection.

“Blockchain technology isn’t just for big business, it’s for small businesses like ours. This is the future,” Alastair said. “Applying a certified digital history to a physical bottle of premium Scotch whiskey is the ultimate provenance of our barley-to-bottle approach.”

So how does a digital provenance certificate work? Well, each certificate is unique for each individually numbered bottle.

Information about the bottle, distillery, cask type and bottle number, can be accessed with a QR code on the label that can be verified on virtual platforms, such as online auctions.

This acts as digital proof of ownership, transferred to the buyer upon purchase, and its provenance can be verified using a smartphone in seconds.

Certificate owners can trade digitally, or trade the bottle and transfer digital ownership to a new owner.

The first version of The Whiskey Barrel’s 15th Anniversary Portfolio digital certificate of provenance series was distilled at Glen Moray Distillery in 1991 and boasts an alcohol content of 54.9%. From a single cask, 1st fill Palo Cortado Hogshead, it was bottled cask strength.

The distiller’s notes show that on the nose it has aromas of fruit salad, burnt orange peel, caramel, green apples and fudge. The palate offers notes of peach compote and pink grapefruit, butterscotch, vanilla and spices. The finish is long, with an oily mouthfeel, figs, mint and ripe grapes.

For more information on how to buy whiskey with a digital certificate of provenance or how to join the Whiskey Barrel Scotch Club, see www.thewhiskybarrel.com.