Celebrating 70 Years of Whisky History
4 months ago
From humble beginnings, 70 years of Whisky history and adventures have taken Douglas Laing & Co. on a journey all around the world. What better way to reminisce than to take an illustrated trip back in time?
Our founder, Frederick Douglas Laing is born. In the years that would follow, FDL would go on to serve in the RAF throughout the Second World War. During this time, FDL developed a taste for Scotch Whisky, putting the wheels in motion that would lead to the creation of his own Whisky Company.
Douglas Laing & Co. is founded. With an inventory of just a few casks, FDL gets to work developing a recently-acquired brand, King of Scots. This particular Blended Scotch Whisky would go on to help define Douglas Laing & Co.’s reputation as a quality Whisky blender. During this time, FDL worked tirelessly to create filling programmes to protect the longevity of the Douglas Laing brands, establishing relationships still honoured today.
Fred Hamilton Laing, the son of Fred Douglas Laing is born. Over the next 18 years, Fred Jr. would grow up immersed in a world of Whisky, even spending time out of school to accompany his father around Central and South America, enjoying a non-conventional education at the “University of Life.”
After growing his commercial and blending skills at Whyte & Mackay as well as White Horse Distillers, Fred Jr. joins Douglas Laing & Co.
Cara Laing, daughter of Fred Jr. is born. Following in her father’s footsteps, Cara goes on to “earn her stripes” and develop her own portfolio of Whisky experience as a brand marketer at Whyte & Mackay, succeeded by a period at Morrison Bowmore Distillers.
A new decade delivered the commendation of the Queen’s Award for Export (now known as the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.) Recognised as the highest official UK award for British businesses, this landmark achievement was a reflection of Douglas Laing & Co.’s significant growth since its inception in 1948.
2009 marked the birth of the very first Regional Remarkable Malt, Big Peat – a marriage of Malts from Islay’s finest Distilleries, including the elusive Port Ellen. Big Peat was quick to amass a community of devoted “pals” and a coup of enviable Whisky awards.
In this year we welcomed the third generation of family Douglas Laing & Co., with the arrival of Cara as Director of Whisky. 2013 marked a transformative period that also saw the addition of Chris Leggat as Commercial Director, coming from an impressive career within the drinks industry. Chris would later become CEO of the family business.
This year saw the introduction of the Old Particular brand – a series of superior Single Cask Single Malt bottlings celebrating Whisky exactly “as the Distiller intended”. This brand would later become the foundation of the Exceptional Single Cask collection.
The Regional Remarkable Malt series also grew with the addition of Scallywag, a marriage of Speyside’s finest malts, inspired by FDL’s favoured breed of family dog, a Fox Terrier. Scallywag would go on to receive a warm reception by Whisky critics, leading to no less than an award of Double Gold at the acclaimed San Francisco Spirits Competition (2014.)
Appetite for Douglas Laing & Co. Whiskies continued to grow at an exponential rate, resulting in the establishment of the XOP (Xtra Old Particular) brand. Referred to as the Douglas Laing “family jewels”, XOP focused on one-of-a-kind, rare and premium Whiskies. This addition to the Exceptional Single Cask range was greeted with fervour by passionate Whisky connoisseurs.
2014 paved the way for the arrival of the next member of the Remarkable Regional Malts family: Timorous Beastie. Not quite as shy as the name would indicate, this marriage of the best Highland Malts would go on to receive a number of similar accolades to its predecessors.
The Remarkable Regional Malt family continued to expand, with the monstrous Maritime Blended Malt, Rock Oyster. A dedication to the truly unique flavour profiles of the Scottish Island Distilleries, the recipe pays homage to Arran, Jura, Islay and Orkney.
The Exceptional Single Cask range continued to grow too, with the adoption of Provenance, a brand devoted to offering an accessible yet outstanding introduction into the world of Single Cask Whiskies
2016 saw the birth of another Regional Remarkable Malt, this time a Lowlander by the name of The Epicurean. Championing the story of a 1930’s “city born and bred” Glasgow man, The Epicurean would come to charm both Whisky and cocktail enthusiasts alike.
Douglas Laing & Co. unveils plans to build our first Distillery on the banks of the River Clyde. The announcement comes with the intention to become “masters of our own destiny” and to enable further growth of the core business.
This year also saw the creation of the final Remarkable Regional Malts family member: The Gauldrons. A Blended Malt from the once-bustling Campbeltown region almost immediately disappears from shelves… nearly as quickly as it was released!
We celebrate 70 Years of Whisky adventures! Celebrations bring the arrival of a number of commemorative releases, such as the XOP Platinum series, the Old Particular Caol Ila and Cambus 35 Years Old Double Pack and the Private Stock web-exclusive series.
Celebrating 70 Years of Whisky History – The Future
What does the future hold for Douglas Laing & Co? With growing appetite around the globe for the Remarkable Regional Malts, Exceptional Single Casks and more, we’re certain the next 70 years will be just as exciting as those before.