Family firm takes fight to the on-trade

A Glasgow-based whisky firm has its sights set on further expansion in the on-trade after the repositioning and strengthening of its product range.

Family-owned Douglas Laing & Co rebranded its core blended malts as the Remarkable Regional Malts range earlier this year.

Cask Strength Scallywag Bottle & Tube

The four-strong range has been built over the past two years with the introduction of Scallywag, a blend of single malts from Speyside; Timorous Beastie, a blend of malts from the Highland region; and, earlier this year, Rock Oyster, a blend of island malts.

They joined the company’s established Big Peat whisky, which contains malts from Islay.

Douglas Laing & Co’s digital brand manager, Jenny Rogerson, said the Remarkable Malts are designed to appeal to “new to category” consumers and reflect the company’s long-term plans to grow its customer base.

“In 2013, Douglas Laing made the strategic decision to realign both brands and priorities,” said Rogerson.

“This involved identifying a global trend for a younger, more dynamic audience, and creating products that cater for this audience.

“In turn, we have developed our existing and traditional brands to continue engaging the ‘core’ whisky consumer.

“But ultimately, whisky is not just for your dad.”

The fresh approach has already been paying off in terms of on-trade listings, said Rogerson.

“We are growing rapidly within the on-trade of Scotland,” she said.

“Brands continually jostle for positioning on a back-bar and we are lucky that not only do our whiskies taste great and are packaged well – they offer the on-trade something special, genuinely small batch and artisan.

“Our whiskies can be found in cocktail bars or traditional outlets – with the Remarkable Regional Malts we offer a one stop shop for the key malt producing regions of Scotland.”

A special edition version of Scallywag was released this month, at a cask strength of 53.6% ABV.

In addition to the Remarkable Malts, the firm also produces a range of single malt and single cask bottlings for connoisseurs under brands that include Old Particular.

The company’s whiskies are distributed across the UK by Cellar Trends, and within Scotland are stocked by wholesalers that include Wallaces Express and Inverarity Morton.