In the production of whisky, the fermented wash is distilled twice and each bushel of grain yields about 15.5 gallons of pot-ale, 6.0 gallons of spent lees and 2.7 gallons of proof spirit. Disposal of pot-ale, the strong residue from the first distillation, containing all the non-volatile and unfermented components of the wash, will always be difficult. Anaerobic digestion provides a possible option. By destroying most of the biodegradable solids and converting them to biogas, it provides an intermediate effluent which conventional treatment technology can purify to river discharge standards. Pilot-scale trials confirm that pot-ale can be treated by anaerobic digestion. The most severe problems are the high purification efficiencies required to achieve UK river discharge standards and the quality and settling properties of the biological sludges produced. To achieved these standards, the design and operation of the entire treatment chain is dominated by the need to capture and concentrate suspended solids (SS) produced by the biological fermentations. Overall performance targets are 99.95% removal of biological oxygen demand (BOD), 99% removal of ammonia and a surplus sludge production of less than 20% of the incoming flow. (author).