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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007, 22:42 GMT
Police hunt whisky galore thieves
Bowmore single malt
Bowmore has been distilled on Islay since 1779
More than 10,000 bottles of single malt Scotch Whisky have been stolen in a raid, police have revealed.

The bottles of Bowmore Islay Single Malt, with a retail value of almost 300,000, were taken from a haulier in Hertfordshire on Tuesday.

The haul included various aged bottles of Bowmore, from 12 years old to 25 years old.

A bottle of Bowmore believed to have been bottled on Islay in about 1850 was sold for 30,000 in September.

Bowmore Distillers said it was desperately bottling more of the spirit from Islay to ensure retailers and consumers will not be disappointed.

The stolen bottles had been intended for the UK Christmas market.

Glen Moore, Bowmore brand director, said: "We are confident we will be able to supply all retailers with Bowmore and customers will still be able to buy Scotland's number one Islay malt whisky for Christmas.

"Unfortunately Single Malt Whisky cannot be distilled today and bottled tomorrow so it will take up to 25 years to replace the older stock."

Hertfordshire Constabulary is investigating the theft.

Bowmore has distilled whisky on the Hebridean island of Islay since 1779.

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