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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Barrels rolled out for water cuts
Surplus whisky barrels could be used to store water
An Aberdeenshire whisky merchant plans to sell unwanted barrels to ease drought problems in south east England.

Euan Shand, of Duncan Taylor and Co in Huntly, has thousands of surplus wooden whisky barrels which could be used to collect water.

He hopes they could help people facing water shortages and hosepipe bans in the south of England.

Mr Shand said: "They could help water gardens - and you could even water down your whisky as well."

The barrels have been used to mature some of the finest and oldest of Scotland's whisky.

We have a few thousand surplus casks and decided it was a good opportunity
Euan Shand
Duncan Taylor managing director

However, because they are now more than 40 years old they are seen as surplus to distillery requirements.

Mr Shand, the managing director of Duncan Taylor, believes the best way to get the casks to people is via garden centres which could then sell them to the public.

He said he was inspired by television pictures of the impending drought in parts of England.

Mr Shand said: "I saw the plight of what was happening and thought people could use them to catch rainwater for their plants and washing cars.

"We have a few thousand surplus casks and decided it was a good opportunity.

"Most of the whisky is out of them although there may still be some dry taste in the wood.

"People could run a power hose out of them.

"And they are aesthetic and it's natural oak."


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