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"Racking for Whisky Maturation" Visit to the North British Distillery Company Ltd. of 10 March 2010

The bespoke push-back racking supplied by Telford-based storage-products supplier Link 51 that we saw at the Muirhall site of The North British Distillery Co. Ltd. optimises cask storage capacity and increases usability and safety.

The system provides quick access to individual casks, facilitating picking of specific batches without load crushing, and secures increased operator safety by removing the need to climb within the racks.

Capacity is provided for 36,000 sherry-treated oak casks each holding up to 500 litres which after maturation will give 4 million cases of whisky. Walkways run the length of the lanes to provide safe access to each cask. Racks are eight levels high where Butt and Puncheon casks are housed and ten levels high for Hogsheads. Lanes can accommodate up to 17 Butt or Puncheon casks or 22 Hogheads.

Ease of access makes much easier the regular rack inspections which are required for compliance with the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999.

Development of the Muirhall site at Addiewell, heartland of the West Lothian shale-oil industry until its demise in 1962, has enabled the North British Distillery to relocate there almost all of the bonds that once surrounded its headquarters in the Gorgie district of Edinburgh.

Report by John Uellowlees.


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