Recession bites

14th November, 2011 by Dominic Roskrow

Whisky distilleries across Scotland are stepping up security after reports of a sharp increase in barrel and metal theft brought on by the tough economic climate.

Mothballed distilleries are particularly at risk because of the amount of valuable copper in them, and in the past distilleries have been stripped of their stills, slate roofs and cabling from thieves who consider isolated and deserted stills as easy pickings.

But as the recession bites once more barrels and their metal stavings have been targeted. With demand for whisky at an unprecedented high, barrels are in short supply anyway, so any theft will be felt by the industry. Whisky companies are reluctant to pass any more cost on to the customer because prices have been rising anyway.

“It’s becoming a real problem for the industry,” said one distiller. “It’s hard thing to police but we, like many other distilleries, are having to take measures to prevent wide-scale theft.”

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