A MAJOR distillery has been forced to halt production after the Hebridean island it is based on was named the driest place in the UK.
• Tobermory Distillery forced to halt production as Mull is named dryest place in UK
• Distiller ceases operations for only the second time in its history
Water levels on Mull have dropped so dramaticaly in recent weeks that Tobermory Distilery has been forced to cease operating for only the second time in its history, with only a fifth of the island’s expected rainfall supplying the loch on which the distiller depends on.
The Met Office revealed that Mull only received 1.8 inches of rainfall in March - the lowest anywhere in Britain.
Raging wildfires on the Highlands and islands, including one on Mull’s Glenforsa Estate have been symptomatic of the area’s unseasonal conditions.
Ian MacMillan, master blender and distilleries manager, told the Press and Journal: The water for our single malt comes frmo a small, private loch on the island, and over the last three weeks we have seen the water level occasionally dip to such an extent that we have temporarily halted prodiction in order to preserve the quality and consistency of our whisky.
“The purity of the water we use is critical to the quality of our whisky and we won’t take any risks in compromising quality, so have now decided to suspend production until a proper rainfall replenishes the loch to a satisfactory level.
“Toberymory single malt drinkers need not panic. When we had to stop production last year due to the driest summer for 30 years. we simply increased production when it started raining again to make up the shortfall.
“We will do so again and, in the meantime, we have a plentiful stock of the single malt ready to be bottled, and supply will not be affected.”
Tobermory, Scotland’s oldest commercial distillery, produces 10 and 15-year old Tobermory malts and Ledaig.