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The Times: Shell tries to weather whisky storm

December 01, 2006
Martin Waller: City Diary
Worrying news from Islay, where they are running out of whisky. This is a cold, wet island off the west coast of Scotland with several distilleries, one of which claims it has had to shut down because they are out of oil.

Bruichladdich managing director Mark Reynier says they depend on oil imported by tanker. A delivery earlier this month was turned back, and none can get through now because of the averagely awful weather.

At blame is the EU, or possibly supplier Shell. The EU caused the size of tankers to be increased, and the local pier had to be altered, even though the locals claimed the new tankers would only be able to use it in calm weather. “Shell has left the island in the lurch,” claims Reynier.  

Shell, sounding slightly baffled, says that deliveries are always difficult in winter gales. I have some sympathy for the oil company here — the only time I was on Islay was this time of year, and I could easily understand why the locals tend to start on their most famous product with their porridge,,8210-2480408,00.html and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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