A whiskey distributor has blamed Brexit “chaos” for delays in deliveries as customers slated a decision to ship it from Germany as “bonkers”.

Laphroaig – which has been distilled on Islay, Inner Hebrides, since 1815 but is now owned by US firm Beam Suntory – ships sales from its website around the world via a distribution firm in Berlin, Selection Prestige.

Issues with imports to the UK mean customers – including some in Bucks – have been forced to wait several weeks for orders or told they may incur additional charges.

Steve Adkins, 67, from Chesham, ordered a bottle of the whisky on the Laphroaig website on January 25 to be delivered to his friend in Glasgow as a birthday gift.

But a month later there is still no sign of the bottle - and the business consultant joked it would be quicker for his pal to travel to the Hebrides to snap one up, and feared the gift may come with an invoice.

After emailing distributor Selection Prestige, Mr Adkins received a response hitting out at Brexit as the cause of the lengthy delay.

It read: “We are professionals (unlike the people who implemented Brexit) and we know exactly what we are doing.

“We send thousands of parcels every year to all sorts of countries.

“And in no country do we experience such chaos with imports as we currently do in the UK.

“That Laphroaig has left us with the burden of sending Scotch whisky from Germany to the UK is indeed unfortunate, to say the least.

“However, this decision was not ours, but the brand’s.”

A spokesman for Laphroaig said it was experiencing “general customs delays caused by Brexit” and said British customers will begin receiving orders from its UK warehouse this week.

Mr Adkins said: “My friend lives in the centre of Glasgow and I decided to order him a bottle of whisky.

“That was on January 25 that I ordered it and it still hasn't arrived and I still don't know when it's going to arrive.

“My friend could set out for Islay himself, buy a bottle of whisky and return to Glasgow and it would be faster than the way the company is doing it.

“I didn't even get a ghost of an idea about it even being shipped until February 11, because they've not told me that they've been having issues.

“The communication has been really quite bad.

“When I was notified about shipping and it said DDU, delivered duty unpaid, I started to get really concerned that my friend was going to be presented with a bottle of whisky and an invoice for I don't know how much.

“They've assured me that's not the case but until it arrives I’m not going to know for sure.”

He added: “It’s completely bonkers.

“They seem to have been completely wrong-footed by Brexit.”

Several online reviews indicate that other customers are having similar issues.

One customer wrote: “Order placed by son just after Christmas 2020 and still no sign of delivery (19th February 2021). No real customer support, just a load of buck-passing.”

Another posted: “Product took a number of weeks to be dispatched, and eventually was but from Germany. I was then notified of a £100+ customs charge that was apparently payable.

“I was informed by Laphroaig that this was an error but over a week later and multiple emails still no joy."

A Laphroaig spokesman said: “We appreciate the frustration felt by some of our UK customers, and we have been working hard to minimise disruption as much as possible during this transitional period, including investing in expanded customer service resources for Laphroaig.com.

“We are responding to the increased volume of enquiries as rapidly as possible.

“Selection Prestige is a separate business.”