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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 17:48 GMT
Sour taste over whisky switch
Cardhu is produced at Knockando in Moray
Cardhu is produced at Knockando in Moray
The world of whisky has been split by a row over a single word on a label.

The worldwide drinks company, Diageo, has changed the composition of Cardhu, one of the most popular malts produced on Speyside.

The traditional 12-year-old single malt is now being made from a mixture of vatted malts from several distilleries but is still being sold under its original name.

The only change on the label is that instead of being called a "single" malt, Cardhu is now "pure" malt.

According to Diageo's rivals, the move will seriously damage the reputation of the multi-million pound industry.

Cardhu 'running out'

They say the new whisky should not be sold as Cardhu, the fifth most popular brand in the world.

Another Speyside distiller, J and G Grant, accused Cardhu of misleading the public.

But Diageo said it had been forced to make the change because it is running out of Cardhu.

Peter Smith, Diageo spokesman, insisted the company was very proud of what it was doing and management had been as open and transparent as possible.

He said: "We have to respond to consumer demand because in countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece and France, we are seeing a great demand for Cardhu and twelve years ago we never dreamt that would happen.

"We should be celebrating success but we just don't have the stocks, so we are going down this route of introducing - in selected markets - Cardhu which is Cardhu Pure Malt, which is an accepted practice within the industry."

BBC Scotland's Craig Anderson
"Whatever the change within, the price will remain the same"

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