Scotch Whisky Association

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Scotch Whisky Association
FormationApril 1942
Legal statusNon-profit organisation (limited liability company registered in Edinburgh)
PurposePromoting and protecting the Scotch whisky industry
  • Quartermile 2
    2 Lister Square
    EH3 9GL
    United Kingdom
Region served
71 Scotch whisky producers
Chief Executive
Karen Betts
Main organ
SWA Council

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is a trade organisation that represents the Scotch whisky industry. The Scotch whisky industry is an important part of the Scottish economy, and particularly the Scottish export market.


The main office of the SWA is based in the Lauriston area of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Members include:[1]

Of these, Diageo and Chivas Brothers are the largest.


The SWA's stated purpose is to promote, protect and represent the interests of the whisky industry in Scotland and around the world. Similar to the Portman Group, it also promotes responsible drinking, with campaigns to curb drinking to excess.


It was formed on 17 April 1942. It became a limited company in 1960. The SWA's members represent over 95% of Scotch whisky production, which encompasses over 2,500 brands around the world.

The SWA led an unsuccessful challenge to the Scottish government's minimum alcohol price policy, enshrined in the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012. The UK's Supreme Court ruled on 15 November 2017 that the Act was not disproportionate to the stated policy aim of reducing alcohol misuse and overconsumption, and therefore not contrary to EU law.[2] Karen Betts, the SWA chief executive, said the association "accept[s] the Supreme Court's ruling".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SWA, Members & Brands, accessed 15 November 2017
  2. ^ Supreme Court, Scotch Whisky Association and others (Appellants) v The Lord Advocate and another (Respondents) (Scotland) [2017 UKSC 76], 15 November 2017
  3. ^ SWA, Response to MUP ruling, 15 November 2017

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