Talks between the Scotch groups Edrington, producer of The Famous Grouse, and William Grant and Sons concerning Edrington's Islay malt Bunnahabhain, produced at the distillery of the same name, and its Islay-based blend Black Bottle, have fallen through.

The discussions, described by one industry source as only "tentative initial discussions", were the result of an approach by William Grant for the brands and Edrington's desire to focus more on its core brands The Famous Grouse, Highland Park, The Macallan and Cutty Sark.

Last week, Patrick Thomas, managing director of Grant's, said last night that the talks were inconclusive.

He said: "William Grant and Sons had discussions with the Edrington Group over the possible acquisition of the Bunnahabhain distillery. These discussions have proven inconclusive and William Grant and Sons has no plans to progress the matter any further."

A spokesman for Edrington said: "The Group is regularly in touch with other companies about a whole range of issues of mutual interest and we often receive enquiries about he availability or otherwise of various brands. Most of the time we don't receive formal financial offers. If the company decided to accept an offer for any business we would inform our shareholder, employees and the media."