Douglas Laing & Co
Pacific Quay

History: This award-winning independent bottler was established in 1948 by Fred Douglas Laing. After spending time as a pilot in the Air Force during WW2, Laing had met an American colleague and decided to created a blended Scotch Whisky which he called The King of Scots. The brand started to do well across Europe and the US so they create more of their own whiskies.

During the 1960s his son Fred jnr was introduced to the whisky world by his father before joining drinks companies Whyte & Mackay and White Horse Distillers to learn his trade. In 1972 he returned to his father’s company to begin the next chapter of Douglas Laing & Co.

Today the company is headed up by Fred jnr and his daughter Cara, who herself brings a world of whisky experience after spending time as a global brand manager at Jura, Bowmore and Glen Garioch. After 80 years as a company bottling other people’s whisky they made the huge step to build their own distillery in Glasgow.

The distillery will be named Clutha, meaning Clyde in Gaelic, when it opens this year. The name gives a clue to its location which will sit on the banks of the river in Glasgow. The £11m project will include the construction of the new distillery, bottling plant, visitors centre, whisky archive and bar/bistro.

The whisky: As well as single malt bottlings they also have a core range of blended malts that showcase each of Scotland’s whisky regions in character and flavour profile. The Epicurean from the Lowland region, Timorous Beastie from the Highland region, Scallywag from Speyside, The Gauldrons that represent Campbeltown, Rock Island that covers the Islands and lastly the power-house that is Big Peat that comes from distilleries in Islay. Each of these blended malts have distinc-tive packaging and the liquid inside is delicious and are also great value for money.

Interesting fact: In 1975 Laing created a limited-edition miniature bottle of whisky in honour of Billy Connolly name “Nippy Sweetie”. In 2016 they discovered what is thought to be the last bottle of the blend in existence. The company donated the bottle to the Art of Billy Connolly exhibition at the People’s Palace, raising £300 at auction.

Why visit? The distillery isn’t quite finished yet but it is certain to be a welcome addition to the city and its tourist scene. With its neighbour, The Clydeside Distillery, just a stone’s throw across the water, the Clyde is starting to regain its reputation as a whisky river.once again.