Twelve leading players in the Scotch whisky industry have met to discuss how to proceed in their battle against Diageo, over the spirits industry leader's decision to change the contents of it Cardhu brand.

Diageo has been facing increased criticism and pressure in recent weeks over a reformulating of its Cardhu brand from a "single" malt to a mix of "pure" malts.

A meeting between most of the Scotch industry's biggest players, understood to include Allied Domecq, William Grant & Sons, Glenmorangie, Morison Bowmore and Edrington, but not Diageo, has now taken place.

The group are thought to be considering legal action against Diageo, although it is hoped a compromise can be reached before it gets that far.

In the meantime, the group has written to the Scotch Whisky Association, setting out its opposition, which will next meet on December 4.

In a statement they said their key message is that "the industry cannot compromise on the protection of Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and to this end Diageo should reconsider the use of the name Cardhu - which has been the name of a Single Malt Scotch Whisky for the last thirty years - as a mixture or vatting of malt whiskies."
 
"We are confident that sense will prevail" commented a spokesman for the group.

Meanwhile, Ian Meakins, Diageo president, Europe and supply said: "We are pleased that the companies represented at yesterday's meeting have agreed to continue to work through the SWA to resolve the current debate.

"As previously stated, we have at all times sought to resolve the issue with the rest of the industry through the Scotch Whisky Association.

"Diageo's commitment to Scotch whisky is absolute. We want the Scotch whisky category to grow and expand. We recognise that innovating in an industry renowned for tradition over modernity has provoked animated discussion."