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Monday, May 28, 2007

Islay Stills Could Go Quiet Because of Fuel Snafu

Islay is the home of eight Scotch whiskey distilleries, including Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Bowmore. The Hebridean island produces some of the world's great malts, but production might stop this week because of an oil shortage.

The problem is that environmental laws require large double hulled tankers to be used for oil deliveries. Extremely low tides and silting near the newly enlarged pier where the tankers dock means that the sea is too shallow for the ships to operate. Oil shipments have been unreliable recently, distillers claim.

The fuel shortage has hit just before the start of the Islay Whiskey Festival. Islay whiskeys are recognized for their heavily peated flavor and sea air character.

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