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Demerger creates new whisky firm

A new Scotch whisky blender and bottler has been created following the demerger of Douglas Laing & Sons, writes Gabriel Savage.

Andrew, Stewart and Scott Laing
Andrew, Stewart and Scott Laing

The move has seen Stewart Laing split from the family business after 40 years working alongside his brother Fred to set up Hunter Laing & Co in partnership with his two sons, Andrew and Scott.

Having split the assets of the original company, Hunter Laing has retained whisky brands Old Malt Cask, Old & Rare, Douglas Blend, John Player Special and Sovereign, as well as a bottling plant and eight employees.

Both Andrew and Scott Laing were previously directors of independent single malt bottler Edition Spirits, whose brands now join the Hunter Laing & Co portfolio.

Commenting on the decision to set up a new company, managing director 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.

Pointing to the significant growth being enjoyed by the Scottish whisky sector, Laing noted: “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.”

Hunter Laing & Co is now operating across 65 markets from its headquarters in Park Circus, Glasgow, with a bottling facility in East Kilbride. The company confirmed a current focus on developing new products to meet growing demand from consumers, especially those in Asia, North America and Scandinavia.

Fred and Cara Laing
Fred and Cara Laing

Fred Laing takes control of Douglas Laing & Co and has announced that his daughter, Cara Laing, will join the company as head of brands marketing. Cara joins from Morrison Bowmore Distillers, where she was marketing manager and previously worked as global brand manager of Jura.
Fred and Cara are planning to develop “fresh, innovative, new brands for Douglas Laing”, with a premium single cask range expected to be unveiled in September.
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.
“I confess, she brings exceptional and arguably better experience in the industry than I do. 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.”

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