The Glenfiddich Scotch whisky distillery at Dufftown, Banffshire, Scotland, was closed for two days after the body of a 46-year-old team leader was found in a vat full of water and yeast.
46 year old Brian Ettles drowned in a large vat at Dufftown’s Glenfiddich distillery on Saturday January 7, 2012. The Sun newspaper reports that the father-of-two committed suicide by jumping in the 16 ft deep vat which contained some 50,000 litres of yeast and water used in the preliminary stages of making whisky.
Without actually confirming suicide, a Grampian police spokesman went on to tell The Sun that paramedics had attended the scene but were unable to save Ettles. The spokesman also said that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
Speaking to Scottish newspaper, the Daily Record, the distillery’s group operations director Bill White is quoted as saying:
Brian, who had loyally served the company for 22 years, having joined in 1989, was a highly-valued team leader for the last six years and, before that, a popular team member in the Dufftown process team.
Our heartfelt thoughts, condolences and sympathy go to Brian's family, friends and colleagues, and to those who worked so closely with him during his 22 years' service.
Management closed the distillery for two days as a mark of respect to the drowned worker and his family.
There has been a whisky distillery at Dufftown since 1886 when it was first built by William Grant & Sons. It is still family-owned and independently run. It claims to be the only Highland Single Malt whisky that is distilled, aged and bottled all in the same place. It offers distillery tours to the general public and won “Icons of Scotland 2007” Best Distillery Visitor Centre Awards in 2007.