Distillery leaks £1m worth of whisky

A Scotch distillery has lost more than £1 million worth of whisky after it leaked from one of its giant vats and into the River Ayr, sparking a health and safety inquiry.

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More than 60,000 litres of whisky was lost from the Loch Lomond Distillers warehouse in Catrine, Ayrshire

Around 60,000 litres was lost – the equivalent of some 85,000 bottles – from the Loch Lomond Distillers warehouse in Catrine, Ayrshire.

While much of the whisky leaked into the ground, a large proportion seeped into the River Ayr, prompting an investigation by the Health and Safety ­Executive and Scottish ­Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

Confirming the incident, a SEPA spokesman said: “It’s understood that due to a leak inside the building, a significant quantity of whisky managed to escape through the floor of the warehouse.

“It’s likely the majority of the whisky was absorbed by the ground beneath the ­warehouse but a small amount did manage to enter the drainage system and ­discharge directly into the River Ayr.

“Following numerous assessments of the ­watercourse by SEPA officers, the discharge was not found to have had any significant impact on the surface water environment.

“As the facility is also ­regulated under the Control of Major Accidents and ­Hazards Regulations 2015, a joint investigation was carried out by SEPA and the HSE.

“As a result, a series of ­corrective actions have been issued to the operator to ensure this incident does not reoccur.” SEPA and the HSE have only just completed their investigation into the leak, which happened in June.

The spillage was said to have been caused by a leak in one of the company’s giant vats which had gone undetected.

“We can ­confirm there was an ­accidental leakage of around 60,000 litres of blended 
whisky from a vat at our ­bottling plant at Glen Catrine in Ayrshire”, a spokesperson for Loch Lomond said.

“Tests showed no evidence of alcohol in the River Ayr, no visible evidence of impact on wildlife and minimal traces of alcohol on the river banks. We’ve been working with both SEPA and the HSE to ensure that there is no ­recurrence.”

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