Douglas Laing & Co located in Glasgow, Scotland is best known as a blender and bottler of hand-crafted Scotch Whisky. That’s about to change two-fold as they previously released plans to build their own distillery and have just announced the acquisition of Strathearn Distillery located near Methven, Perthshire.
Though Douglas Laing & Co. has been in the distilled spirits business since 1948 this is the first time they’ll be owners of a distillery. Highland region and Perthshire-based Strathearn Distillery began production in 2013, and was a pioneer of the “craft distilling” scene. The multi-functional site encompasses distillation, warehousing and bottling, with “hand-crafted” values at the heart of its ethos.
“Douglas Laing’s Strathearn Distillery allows us opportunity to now invest further in our team, whilst becoming masters of our own destiny in terms of Scotch Whisky distillation,” said Chris Leggat, CEO of Douglas Laing & Co.
New ‘Clutha Distillery’ Under Construction
In August 2018 Leggat announced the name of their own new distillery that is currently under construction. That new distillery will be known as Clutha Distillery. ‘Clutha’, meaning Clyde in Gaelic, reflects both the company’s heritage and the location of the new Distillery which will sit on the banks of the river in the heart of the city. The new £10.7 million (approximately $14 million US) project which will see the creation of the new distillery and bottling complex in conjunction with the corporate head office, visitor centre, Whisky archive and bar/bistro. The development will also create 41 new jobs with the Douglas Laing workforce set to expand from 24 to 65 employees.
“Today marks a proud and historic landmark for Douglas Laing,” said Cara Laing, Keeper of the Quaich and Director of Whisky in her family’s business. “For its first seven decades in the wonderful world of Whisky, our family firm has been renowned amongst the finest independent bottlers, celebrated for our Remarkable Regional Malts and Exceptional Single Casks brands. 2019, our 71st year in business, is the year we take a monumental leap, adding ‘distiller’ to our credentials and beginning a new chapter in our journey.
A distillery very much in its infancy, Strathearn affords us the opportunity to create an extraordinary brand home for our family business and a global Single Malt brand steeped in our family firm’s history, heritage and passion.”
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Chris Leggat went on to say, “Strathearn is a wonderful addition to our portfolio. The Distillery’s handcrafted and premium approach to Single Malt Scotch Whisky production is entirely aligned with our own values, with no attention to detail spared. The acquisition comes at a time when Douglas Laing & Co is truly thriving. We are particularly proud to report double digit growth for a 5th consecutive year, plus nine new recruits to our team and several new markets opened recently for our core brands.”
Douglas Lang & Co. said the existing gin and rum brands from Strathearn will continue to be available with ownership moving to a newly established company, The Whisky Garden Ltd.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.