The following originally appeared on Food Digital on May 1, 2013:
Founded in 1948 by Fred Douglas Laing one of Scotland’s leading independent blenders and bottlers today announced that it will be dividing its assets between the two brothers who have run the company so successfully for the last four decades.
As of today, Fred Laing and his daughter, Cara, will maintain control of Douglas Laing & Co which includes, among others, Provenance, Clan Denny Grain, Big Peat, and Double Barrel while Stewart Laing and his two sons, Andrew and Scott, have launched Hunter Laing & Co which will take control of Old Malt Cask, Old & Rare, Douglas Blend, John Player Special, Sovereign, and a bottling plant south of Glasgow. Andrew and Scott Laing will also fold their independent bottling company, Edition Spirits, into Hunter Laing & Co.
In discussing the appointment of his daughter as Head of Brands Marketing, Fred Laing said: “This is the start of a fresh new chapter at Douglas Laing with our third generation and I’m delighted to have Cara join the company my father established over 60 years ago… She has a great head for business and an energetic, creative take on what’s needed in the industry; a trait that’s particularly important given our determination to strengthen Douglas Laing’s niche as a progressive, innovative company. We look forward to developing our current whiskies as well as our new brands, which are already in the pipeline.”
Cara Laing, who joins the company from Morrison Bowmore, added: “Douglas Laing has a long and interesting history; one that I’m delighted to officially be part of now. The company’s reputation has been built on being individual, never following the crowd and always insisting upon the best quality. Dad has been a massive inspiration to me as the driving force behind Douglas Laing, so I’m looking forward to working with him, strengthening the characteristics and brands that he introduced and emphasizing our progressive, original spirit through clever marketing and strategic development.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the formation of his new company, Stewart Laing said: “My father provided a sound basis for me to have a very enjoyable 40 years in the whisky business so far and with Hunter Laing & Co we’ll see the family tradition maintained for the next generation of the Laing name. With the industry fast developing, it is important for small players to be flexible, innovate and use their relationships to maximum effect. The structure of Hunter Laing & Co will allow us to do exactly that as we build momentum with our portfolio of much-loved brands.”
Adding to his father’s comments, Andrew Laing, Export Director, said: “The whisky industry is in buoyant mood and the future outlook is promising. Being able to join my father in business and glean from him the insight and knowledge that has served him so well will be invaluable as we build Hunter Laing & Co into a major independent blender and bottler.”
It’s interesting to note that two companies so firmly committed to innovation and stock investment with the wherewithal to see a continuing bright future for Scotch whisky couldn’t exist as a successful single entity with a history stretching back six decades. It will be interesting to observe the application of these singular visions over the next several years, let alone decades.