Draft guidance for the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 is currently going through the Scottish parliament. The next stage will see the Scottish Executive consult with stakeholders on fees, staff training and related matters, with regulations expected to come into force for the transitional period starting Feb 1.
Deuchars is cricket sponsor
Deuchars IPA has been chosen to sponsor the Scotland squad in this year's ICC Cricket World Cup. The team will wear shirts bearing the Deuchars IPA logo instead of the Lloyds TSB Scotland logo because the tournament in the West Indies already has a financial services partner.
BenRiach releases oldie
The BenRiach Distillery Company has released its oldest single malt whisky. The BenRiach 40 Year Old Single Malt has been taken from the distillery's limited stocks of 1966 BenRiach to produce 265 bottles. Bottled at 50 per cent volume it is non-chill filtered. Each bottle is hand numbered and packaged with a miniature, an engraved pewter hip flask and a certificate of authenticity in a mahogany gift box.
High death rates
Scots are drinking themselves to death at twice the rate of people elsewhere in the UK, says a report by the Office for National Statistics. It said that, while Scotland has only 8.5 per cent of the UK population, it has three-quarters of the worst 20 areas for drink-related fatalities. Deaths from alcohol-related disease are higher in Scotland than any other UK region .
Five hundred Wine Relief supporters raised more than £6,000 for Comic Relief at a charity tasting on March 1. Retailers including Waitrose, Majestic, Marks & Spencer and Valvona & Crolla showcased their selections. Wine Relief founders Jancis Robinson MW OBE and husband Nick Lander attended the event. Robinson said: "I am so delighted to see so many keen tasters supporting this worthwhile cause in Scotland - and all so young and beautiful! There is no event like this organised anywhere in the UK supporting Wine Relief." Wine Relief Scotland has now raised more than £13,000.
Whisky deal edges closer
Indian company United Spirits is closer to sealing a deal to buy Glasgow-based whisky supplier Whyte & Mackay, according to press reports. The company's president, Vijay Rekhi, told the Sunday Herald that a deal was "imminent" but refused to confirm speculation that both parties had come to an agreement over price that valued Whyte & Mackay at £550 million.