Douglas Laing

Glasgow-based Douglas Laing & Co are independent bottlers and blenders headed by brothers, Fred and Stewart Laing, who proved the value of nepotism when they succeeded their father, Fred Douglas who founded the company in 1948. And, in truth, they’ve not let their Dad down over the past 25 years in charge. Indeed, they’ve grafted to uphold the traditions of the family - apart from the sheep stealing and cattle rustling. They have successfully expanded their markets so that their highly-rated ranges now regularly features blends up to 25 years old, using the original blend specifications handed down to them - and written out so they wouldn’t forget them. A key feature is their vast stock of different Malts built up over the last 50 years and it’s been a pleasing perk, benefit and privilege for the current directors to nose and taste some of the finest quality samples. Fred and Stewart, astute as their father was ground-breaking, got their heads together at one tasting session and boldly declared: “Some of these malts are too good to blend.” And so it was in 1998, before they headed off to celebrate the new Millennium, that their much sought-after OLD MALT CASK selection was rolled out. This guarded and cherished stock – sold by allocation – and was previously reserved for their blended whiskies – like the King of Scots, seen here. But the brothers, once they’ve stopped looking longingly at their pride and joy, will cheerfully dig out a bottle from the corner of a warehouse and happily sell it to discerning customers with accompanying explanatory booklets and carefully-worded tasting notes penned by self-styled, in-house wordsmith, Fred with Stewart checking his spelling. Today the company has contented clients in the Far East, Europe, the USA, Russia, South Africa and Australasia and, increasingly, in the UK where London giants, Harrod’s, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges as well as premium independent Whisky specialists like The Whisky Shop Group and Vintage House are on the customer manifest. The brothers’ passports are rarely in their desk drawers as they carry out extensive tastings throughout the year all over the world, always dressed appropriately in the kilt, not the same one, of course. They are proud Scots - and the Scottish attitudes of honesty, courtesy and friendliness is amply demonstrated as they go about their business at home and abroad boosting their business and customer satisfaction.

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