New whisky company formed

A new independent blending and bottling firm has formed, following the de-merger of Douglas Laing & Co.

Whisky entrepreneurs, Stewart Laing, and his two sons, Andrew and Scott, have begun trading as Hunter Laing & Co from headquarters in Park Circus, Glasgow. Hunter Laing & Co's assets include the whisky brands Old Malt Cask, Old & Rare, Douglas Blend, John Player Special and Sovereign, plus a bottling plant and a workforce of eight (not including shareholders). 

The company claims to have a network of importers and retailers "stretching across 65 markets" and it is to concentrate on developing new products to meet the increasing demands of drinkers in Asia, North America and the Nordics. 

Joining the business as shareholders are Stewart’s two sons, Andrew and Scott.  Both were directors of Edition Spirits, an independent bottler of single malt Scotch whisky.  Scott is company secretary and business development director. Andrew is export director. Hunter Laing & Co will bring Edition Spirits and its brands into its fold. 

Stewart Laing, managing director, said: “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.” 

The bottling facility in East Kilbride now owned by Hunter Laing & Co will continue to service third party companies and brands.  The new company will be run by its three shareholders, along with David Armour, finance director, and a sales, marketing and operations team of seven.

Douglas Laing & Co, the independent Scotch whisky blenders and bottlers demerged on April 30th 2013, with the owners, Fred and Stewart Laing, announcing they are to go their separate ways to focus on different projects from May 1, 2013.

Fred will continue to head up Douglas Laing & Co.