Douglas Laing

The company

Douglas Laing was founded in 1948 by Fred Douglas Laing. The company has been active as a whisky blender and independent bottler ever since. His son Fred Jr. joined his father's company in 1972 after internships at Whyte and MacKay and White Horse. He and his brother Stewart continued to run the business together for over four decades. The company was split in 2013: Douglas Laing & Co. continued to exist, but under the sole leadership of Fred. He is supported by his daughter Cara, who has since taken over as Head of Marketing. Cara was previously employed by Morrison Bowmore and Whyte & Mackay, among others. His brother Stewart Laing founded Hunter Laing & Co. in 2013, which also operates as an independent bottler and blender. Stewart is supported in the management of the company by his two sons Andrew and Scott. Their product range includes the Old Malt Cask and Old & Rare series. The Remarkable Regional Malts with six bottlings from six Scottish regions will be released in an appealing design in 2018. In 2019, Douglas Laing takes over the Strathearn distillery and launches the spirit 'The Heart' on the market with it.

The range and the series

The range of single malts comprises several series with different specialities. Provenance is the entry-level series of 46% whiskies, which are bottled as single casks or in small batches. All malts are non-chill-filtered and non-coloured. The Old Particular series also includes single cask bottlings from all over Scotland. 'Old particular' here stands for 'old' and 'special', as Douglas Laing only selects special and mostly older casks that fulfil a high standard. The whiskies from the X-tra Old Particular series, or XOP for short, are even older. For these, Cara and Fred Laing personally select rare whiskies from casks from particularly renowned distilleries in Scotland, some of which have already closed. Like the others, these special bottlings are bottled without colour and chill-filtering, but at cask strength. The whiskies in the Premier Barrel series are younger, yet selected single cask bottlings. They are bottled by hand in bottles designed like 18th century whisky decanters. Douglas Laing also bottles single casks under the Single Minded label, but with the aim of bringing good, affordable Scotch whisky to the market.

In addition to all the single malts, Douglas Laing also bottles blended whiskies and blended malts. The Blend King of Scots was one of the first whiskies that Fred Douglas Laing launched on the market in 1948. The recipe for the 'King of Scots' goes back to the Victorian era. Double barrels are blended malts from two casks from two very different distilleries. According to the motto 'opposites attract', marriages such as Ardbeg with Glenrothes have been created.

Blended malts are also the 'Remarkable Regional Malts'. Each of the six whiskies represents one of Scotland's whisky regions and consists exclusively of single malts from the respective region. The whiskies or regions are also represented by a specific theme on the labels. Big Peat is a creation of several Islay malts such as Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen. Big Peat is a fisherman from the island of Islay who, with his bulbous nose, appears in different guises depending on the bottling. For example, he can be seen as Father Christmas on the Christmas Edition, as a fan on the Football Edition or in a haunted house on the Halloween Edition. Rock Island represents the Scottish islands and contains malts from the islands of Arran, Jura and Orkney. Until 2019, the bottlings were called 'Rock Oyster', but were renamed so as not to mislead connoisseurs in terms of flavour. The label still features an oyster. The Gauldrons, 'the bay of storms', consists exclusively of malts from the Campbeltown whisky region. As there are only three active distilleries left in Campbeltown, Gauldrons is the least widespread of the Remarkable Regional Malts. The spider and the spider's web on the label symbolise the many closed distilleries that produced there a long time ago. Timorous Beastie symbolises the Scottish Highlands and their whiskies. Malts from the Blair Athol, Glen Garioch, Dalmore and Glengoyne distilleries, among others, are used for the blended malt. It is named after the shy mouse immortalised by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in his poem 'To a Mouse', which also adorns the label. Scallywag means something like rascal and contains a blend of various Speyside malts. It includes whiskies from the Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes distilleries. It bears the name of the Laing family's favourite dog, who have kept fox terriers for a long time. All the whiskies that are blended together for the Epicurean come from the Lowlands. The name means 'man of pleasure' and symbolises important personalities who appeared in Glasgow's lively party life in the 1930s. Consequently, all Epicurean bottles depict a gentleman from this period with a top hat and twirly beard.

Second label McGibbon's

Douglas Laing markets further bottlings under the McGibbon's bottle label. The initial Provenance range was labelled McGibbon's Provenance and Douglas Laing was not recognisable as an independent bottler. In the meantime, the bottles have disappeared from the market and the new bottlings are called Douglas Laing's Provenance!