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.
Last edited by Jojo; 07-28-2012 at 08:38 PM.