Scottish whisky bosses have issued spirits giant Diageo with an ultimatum in a last-ditch bid to stave off legal action over the marketing of its Cardhu brand.
Diageo has outraged the industry north of the border by giving Cardhu a ‘pure malt’ tag even though it is now a blended whisky due to a shortfall in production at its home distillery.
Now a group of influential distillers, including William Grant and Morrison Bowmore, have written to Diageo and the Scotch Whisky Association outlining “a number of solutions” to resolve the dispute.
The proposals include renaming the brand, removing or altering the age statement on bottles or restricting demand for the spirit by upping its price until the issue of lack of stocks has been addressed.
A spokesman for the group said he hoped the letter would prompt Diageo to reconsider its position, adding that “given the strength of feelings on both sides”, legal proceedings could not be ruled out.
Peter Smith, communications director for Diageo in Scotland, said: “We are trying to seek a solution with the SWA but we are standing by the name Cardhu and there are very good reasons why we wouldn’t go down the route of altering the age statement.”