View Full Version : Haig & Haig Pinch Bottle
07-27-2012, 11:56 PM
Would anyone know the history of this neat bottle of Haig & Haig. As a museum specialist specializing in Trust Estates through banks I am often called in to assess the contents of estates. I recently came across this originally boxed bottle of Haig & Haig pinch bottle unopened. It had been stored away in a closet. The family member only knew that it had always been in her mother's closet as long as she remembers. Her mother was in her 90's; the father was a designer of ships working as a senior draftsman out of San Francisco. It's a neat bottle and so is the box.
Hi there! We will see if we can have your bottle dated for you - thanks for the images. Here's some info for you - http://www.whisky.com/brands/dimplepinch_brand.html :)
Also, I came across the below info - but unfortunately the source is unknown.
The ancestors of Haig came to Scotland in the 12th century. Ancestor Urahn Petrus, who has been a Norman knight, had nothing to do with the production of whisky. His grand child started distilling products. The family went on producing whisky only on the purpose to use it for itself. At the beginning of the 17th century a few descendants of the Haig-Family moved to Throsk close to St. Ninian's in Sterlingshire. There, they built up a farmhouse. Robert Haig liked producing whisky. He studied the most modern methods of distillation while travelling around in Western Europe. He expanded the farm to a producible Whisky-distillery. It did not take long and Haig's Scotch became known and popular in town and country.
1627 is supposed to be the year of foundation of the company Haig. The House claims to be the oldest whisky-distillery in the world. First success and popularise in public were the reasons why the parliament had the idea in 1643 to put a tax on whisky produced in Scotland. The tax was supposed to supply the war. At the beginning the tax officers were relatively modest. But soon they found out how much Scotch was consumed everywhere and therefore they rose the tax fee. The Scots felt hurt in their personal right of freedom and business. The time of smuggling and moonlight distilleries started in the Highland.
The Haig-Family did neither care about the tax nor about the smugglers. The Family expanded its company according to aim reaching plans. Already in 1699, Robert Haig produced 128 gallons of Scotch in the months of May to July. The business went well and the owners could raise the sale each year. In 1831, Aeneas Coffey invented a better distilling plant. Now it was possible to produce whisky in bigger amounts and relatively simple. Finally, the Scotch became very famous in the second third of the 19th century. Until that time only straight whisky had been produced, which had a flavour that English people did not really like. But there was a new idea of blending the strict malt whisky with simple types liked by the English. And blender like John Haig (1802 - 1878) produced a whisky, which became world famous.
John belonged to the most famous personalities of the Haig-Family. At the age of 20, he had started to work in the Cameron Bridge Distillery, which belonged to the Haigs. (Still today it belongs to the biggest and most important distilleries of John Haig & Co. Ltd). One year before his death, John Haig & Co produced 1,25 million gallons of whisky. Around 1877, the blending business was moved from Cameron Bridge to Markinch, where the company is still situated today. In those days John Haig also founded the Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL) together with five other distilleries. Out of the relatively small society, the biggest merger of Scottish distillers and blenders developed in only a few years.
At the end of the 19th century, John Haig already produced and sold the today's known and offered products: Glenleven, Gold Label and Dimple. The famous "pinched" bottle of the Dimple was firstly used by Haig around 1900. Just a few years later the Scottish-American company Haig & Haig, being independent from John Haig & Co, took over the bottle-shape for its 'Five Star Whisky'. It became one of the most popular kinds of whisky in the US. In 1925, the House Haig & Haig was taken over by John Haig & Co. The "pinched" bottle of Haig was so popular that many other producers tried to copy it until in 1927, when the House of Lords in Scotland declared the right on this bottle design belonged only to Haig. In 1958, it was also registered in the Us patent office. Standard products like Gold Label Blended Scotch Whisky (40 %), De-Luxe-Quality Dimple Blended Scotch 12 Year Old (40 %) and Glenleven Malt Whisky 12 Year Old (43 %) are exported to Germany by Haig.
07-31-2012, 12:01 AM
Thanks for the response. William Hurst has responded quite thoroughly. One item I omitted was that the bottle's bottom had cast in glass, "10 HAIG & HAIG EDINBURGH SCOTLAND" which may date the bottle prior to 1950 as William notes, "1950 - Haig & Haig begins moving facilities from Edinburgh to Markinch. (1951 bottles marked M&E)". But he and I still need to correspond about that. As "1947 - Renfield Importers acquires exclusive distrbution agreement from Haig & Haig." We will see.
08-01-2012, 01:02 AM
As happispirit has point out there is a glass-marking on the bottom of his bottle noting "10 HAIG & HAIG EDINBURGH SCOTLAND",
denoting that the bottle was manufactured prior to the move of Haig & Haig from Edinburgh to Markinch which began about 1950.
(pre-1951 bottles are marked on the Shoulder-label as "Edinburgh", 1951 Shoulder-labels are marked "Markinch & Edinburgh", and
1952+ Shoulder-labels are marked "Markinch".) ....The "10" is believed to be a machine marking.
This bottle bears only the "Edinburgh" notation on the Shoulder-label, indicating that this bottling was completed prior to the
completion of the move from Edinburgh to Markinch.
The bottle happens to bear the (US) Sole Distributor information of Renfield, marking this bottle's manufacture to 1947+, when
Renfield was awarded Sole Distribution rights to the US (From 1935-1946 this had been awarded to Sommerset Importers.)
Walter C Hurst
Hi there Norman, we just from out the Diageo (parent company to Haig) the below:
Your Haig and Haig whisky bottle has been forwarded to me here at the Diageo Archive. Using the photographs you provided, I have dated the bottle. I agree with the consensus on the whisky.com board that the bottle is from the 1940s; in the collection we have at least one example of this bottle design in adverts from 1948. In an attempt to narrow down the date I focused on the box and checked the archives historic advertisements collection, although this only confuses the matter as the only example of the box design I could find was from December 1953. Unfortunately I am unable to find if the box design was used over a number of years or was a one off seasonal design.
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