A shipment of rare Highland Park 32 Year Old single cask malt whisky went missing while being transported by Delta Airlines from the UK to the US last summer.

The Edrington Group dispatched 186 bottles of the Highland Park whisky to Los Angeles-based distributor Saybrex International last June on flights operated by Delta Airlines. The whisky, worth GBP120,000 (US$240,000) never arrived at Los Angeles airport.

An ongoing investigation by UK and US Customs authorities as well as Delta Airlines has been unable to trace the lost whisky, and as yet no compensation has been paid to Saybrex International.

Saybrex International vice-president operations Ari Bussel said: "Given post-9/11security and the number of government agencies involved controlling the movement of liquor under bond, it is amazing that Delta Airlines cannot find it...The single cask was either left behind while in Delta's custody and control, or was stolen while in Delta's possession.

"If the theft was done without knowledge of the true nature and value of the goods, someone may be enjoying a very unique toast without realising it. On the other hand, if the goods were stolen because they were a rare, very high value single cask bottling, the bottles may one day appear in the marketplace, either sold to specialty retailers or offered on the web."