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Whisky bosses forced to halt production at Blair Atholl site after vital water supply dries up during heatwave

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Whisky bosses forced to halt production at Blair Atholl site after vital water supply dries up during heatwave

Originally Posted: The Sun
Photo Credit: Scotsman Food & Drink

WHISKY bosses were forced to halt production after a vital water supply dried up during the heatwave.

Distillery chiefs stopped operations for four weeks when the lack of rain reduced the Allt Dour burn to a trickle.

Owners Diageo said they will fire up the stills again tomorrow following the lay off at the Blair Atholl site near Pitlochry in Perthshire.

A spokeswoman said: “We were unable to draw down water due to the Allt Dour burn running low after low rainfall.”

Production at the nearby Edradour distillery was only saved last week by much-needed downpours.

Relieved owner Andrew Symington said: “We almost ran out of sourced water last Friday.

“However, the thunder storm that evening and heavy rain over the weekend filled up the cooling pond.

“There is ample spring water — it was the cooling water that we borrow from the burn that was the problem.”

This summer has seen some of the warmest weather on record and experts are predicting it could last until October.

Weather Outlook’s Brian Gaze said: “The Met Office three-month forecast is astonishing. An extended summer is likely, with 27°C possible in Scotland in September and even warm temperatures into October.”

Several distilleries in the Western Isles were forced to halt production earlier this summer, including up to five on Islay.

It was the ready supply of water from the Allt Dour burn that first attracted founders to the site in 1798 where Blair Athol malt is produced.

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