A US agency charged with the detection of chemical weapons has been monitoring live webcasts from the remote Islay distillery, Bruichladdich, because the processes used in a distillery are similar to some of those used in the manufacture of chemical weapons.

The bizarre turn of events has caused bemusement from Bruichladdich officials who set up the webcams to show whisky enthusiasts the production process. The distillery received an email from the Defence Threat Reduction Agency asking why one of the webcams was no longer working.

"I was absolutely amazed when we got the email telling us why they were monitoring the distillery because it was one of the most bizarre things I had ever heard in my entire life," said Bruichladdich's managing director, Martin Raynier. "It is so baffling and I really find it hilarious. It makes you wonder what the Americans are up to sometimes. I just can't believe that the US government would have any interest in a small distillery on a remote Scottish island - it is all a bit of a surreal dream."

A spokesman for the DTRA said: "I am fairly certain that monitoring Scottish distilleries and checking webcams from time to time is not high on our list of missions. The United States is part of the Chemical Weapons Convention and as such we are committed to the process of destroying chemical weapons. That includes monitoring and visiting commercial facilities where they would be able to make chemical weapons."