The Cardhu crisis continues to escalate. A report in the Scotsman today suggests distillers opposed to Diageo may take legal action in the UK and EC over its decision to change the make-up of the brand.

The Scotsman reported that distillers seeking advice from a City law firm were told they may be able to appeal to the European Union or the UK's Office of Fair Trading.

The legal advice apparently said: "Diageo own more distilleries in Scotland than anyone else. Therefore, they are always likely to have a surplus of stock in several of them, which they can fill in the Cardhu bottle, even if they have no actual Cardhu single malt.

"This is a major economic advantage over smaller companies who are fighting to maintain the authenticity of the single malt category. The entire Scotch whisky industry is unanimous in its opposition to the move that Diageo has made, which is seen as being a threat to the global reputation of Scotch."

A Scotch Whisky Association meeting between the sides is planned for Thursday.