Drinks giant Diageo has declared February 10 (the birthday of Alexander Walker, pioneer of the Johnnie Walker line) as its first "International Scotch Day", with the goal of helping to raise awareness and deepen knowledge of Scotch whisky around the world.
It is important to note that this is International Scotch Day, and not International Whisky Day, and is a celebration of whiskies distilled and matured in Scotland and no other country. A little ironic in light of the fact that the biggest news Diageo has been making in the whisk(e)y category lately has been its ventures in the Irish whiskey category: the launch of a new premium blended Irish whiskey, Roe & Co., and the announcement of its plans for a very large investment in a new Irish whiskey distillery at St. James's Gate. However, there is already a "World Whisky Day" and, anyway, Diageo believes that Scotch whisky should have its own day. I, for one, will not argue with them.
Festivities currently planned include Diageo's opening for a limited number of free tours of the visitor centers of its Scotch whisky distilleries and, for the first time to the public, the Diageo archives. I believe that this first International Scotch Day is being put together somewhat hurriedly, and additional events around International Scotch Day are likely to be planned between now and February 10. Assuming this first International Scotch Day is successful, Diageo plans to make it an annual event, but not necessarily on February 10.
I intend to do my part to see to it that International Scotch Day is a success!