Roof collapses trap Chivas Regal stock

More than 100 million gallons of whisky may have been buried when the roofs of 21 football field-sized whisky warehouses in Scotland collapsed under the weight of snow Thursday night.

Metal roofs gave way on the Chivas Regal brand buildings at the company’s 120-acre maturation site called Malcolmburn at Mulben, near Keith. It is owned by the French company Pernod Ricard, which also owns the Strathisla Distillery at Keith.

The Aberdeen Press & Journal reported that the company is considering spraying de-icing chemicals that are normally used on airport runways and using ton-sized heaters in their battle against the ice that froze on the roofs and could not be handled by the drain pipes.

Roof collapses have been reported throughout the region, hit hard by a series of snowstorms. No deaths have been recorded.

A company spokesman said, "There have been no injuries and no spirit loss has been detected. As a precaution Chivas Brothers’ two major maturation sites in Speyside (Mulben and Keith) have been closed to day-to-day operations until the weather abates."

A Scotch Whisky Association spokesman said member companies had been warned to be vigilant.

Whisky giant Diageo, which also has maturation warehouses in the area, said it is monitoring the situation but has had no issues.

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