100m gallons of rare whisky at risk

The Press and Journal have reported that the roofs of 21 football pitch-sized whisky warehouses have collapsed under the weight of snow.

More than 100million gallons of malt whisky are stored at the Scottish facility.

Many valuable casks now lay hidden beneath metal roofing sheets.

The company was said to be considering spraying de-icing chemicals that are normally used on airport runways and using ton-sized heaters in their battle against the ice.

A source close to the company said the roofing had given way in 20 buildings at the company's 120-acre maturation site called Malcolmburn at Mulben, near Keith.

The most expensive whisky maturing is the 38-year-old £350-per-bottle Chivas Brothers Royal Salute.

"The ice has frozen on the roof and it can't go down the drain pipes and get away. It just lies there. The weight of the fresh snow just adds to it."

A company spokesman last night said the damage was still being assessed and he could not confirm the number of buildings damaged.

He added: "We are experiencing issues with some of our warehouse roofs under the weight of snow and ice.

"There have been no injuries and no spirit loss has been detected.

As a precaution Chivas Brothers' two major maturation sites in Speyside (Mulben and Keith) have been closed to day-to-day operations until the weather abates."

The company employs about 200 staff at the maturation plants and the product is exported to 200 countries around the world.


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