Angry customers of one of Scotland’s best known whisky brands have told of widespread delivery problems, with the firm’s German distributor blaming Brexit “chaos”.

Distinctive whisky Laphroaig - which has been distilled on Islay since 1815 but is now owned by US firm Beam Suntory – ships sales from its website around Europe via a distribution firm in Berlin.

However, issues with imports to the UK mean customers – including some in Scotland – have been forced to wait several weeks for orders or told they may incur additional charges.

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Customer Steve Adkins told how he ordered a bottle of the whisky on the Laphroaig website on January 25 to be delivered to his friend in Glasgow as a birthday gift. However, one month on there is still no sign of the bottle.

HeraldScotland: Customer Steve Adkins has been waiting a month for a deliveryCustomer Steve Adkins has been waiting a month for a delivery

After emailing distributor Selection Prestige, he received a response hitting out at Brexit as the cause of the lengthy delay.

It states: “We are professionals (unlike the people who implemented Brexit) and we know exactly what we are doing.

“We send thousands of parcels every year to all sorts of countries. And in no country do we experience such chaos with imports as we currently do in the UK.

“That Laphroaig has left us with the burden of sending Scotch whisky from Germany to the UK is indeed unfortunate, to say the least. However, this decision was not ours, but the brand’s.”

HeraldScotland: UK orders from Laphroaig.com have been hit with delaysUK orders from Laphroaig.com have been hit with delays

Laphroaig said that as part of its preparations for Brexit, it moved its European shipment hub to Germany in 2018 and is currently working on establishing a UK-based hub for customers here.

A spokesman for the firm added that it was experiencing “general customs delays caused by Brexit”.

Mr Adkins, 67, from Buckinghamshire, said the situation was “unbelievable”.

“My friend lives in the centre of Glasgow and I decided to order him a bottle of whisky,” he said.

“That was on the 25th of January that I ordered it and it still hasn’t arrived and I still don’t know when it’s going to arrive.

“I didn’t even get a ghost of an idea about it even being shipped until the 11th of February, because they’ve not told me that they’ve been having issues. The communication has been really quite bad.

“When I was notified about shipping and it said DDU, delivered duty unpaid, I started to get really concerned that my friend was going to be presented with a bottle of whisky and an invoice for I don’t know how much.

“They’ve assured me that’s not the case but until it arrives I’m not going to know for sure.”

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The business consultant added: “It’s completely bonkers. My friend could set out for Islay himself, buy a bottle of whisky and return to Glasgow and it would be faster than the way the company is doing it.

“They seem to have been completely wrong-footed by Brexit.”

Several online reviews indicate that other customers are having similar issues.

Customer David Butler wrote: “Order placed by son just after Christmas 2020 and still no sign of delivery (19th February 2021). No real customer support, just a load of buck-passing.”

Another, Hugh Harris, posted: “Product took a number of weeks to be dispatched, and eventually was but from Germany. I was then notified of a £100+ customs charge that was apparently payable. I was informed by Laphroaig that this was an error but over a week later and multiple emails still no joy.”

The Laphroig spokesperson said that from this week, UK customers will begin receiving orders from its UK warehouse.

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She added: “We appreciate the frustration felt by some of our UK customers, and we have been working hard to minimize disruption as much as possible during this transitional period, including investing in expanded customer service resources for Laphroaig.com. We are responding to the increased volume of enquiries as rapidly as possible.

“Selection Prestige is a separate business which manages the distribution and shipment of Laphroaig.com products."