Scotland: New whisky regs may force distillery changes

19 November, 2009

Scotland; Loch Lomond Distillery could be forced to close part of its production if the new Scotch whisky rules aren’t amended before they come in to force on November 23.

The new regulations say: “Single Malt Scotch Whisky” means a Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in one or more batches—

(a) at a single distillery; (b) from water and malted barley without the addition of any other cereals; and (c) in pot stills.”

Loch Lomond Distillery Company makes more than 20 million bottles of High Commissioner, but not in pot stills.

For the last two years the company, which is based in Alexandria near Glasgow, has been using an energy efficient single still.

A statement from the distillery said that unless consumers lobby MPs to adapt the new regulations governing what kind of stills can produce whisky, they may have to shut down some of their production process.

The distillery decided to use the single still as part of its drive to be more energy efficient. It also uses lightweight glass to reduce the amount of packaging sent to landfill and has been honoured by the Carbon Trust for 'Outstanding Achievement in Manufacturing Energy Efficiency' after installing a system which recycles heat and water used in the distilling process.

John Peterson, distilling director of Loch Lomond said: "We have a method that produces a very good malt but we are being penalised.

"We want to make the process better and save considerable amounts of energy. As it is we are preventing more than 1,400 tonnes of CO2 being released every year.

"Politicians are quick to shout about climate change and how industry has to find new ways to conserve energy and reduce carbon output but when companies like us try to do something innovate we get slapped down for it.

"We need a proper discussion on this. Our customers who enjoy good quality whisky at reasonable prices, and who want to continue doing so, need to ask their MP to object to the legislation before it's too late."