Hunter Laing & Co is one of the world’s most highly respected independent bottlers and blenders.
Stewart Hunter Laing founded Hunter Laing & Co in 2013, after he and brother Fred Hamilton Laing agreed to go their separate ways and carve up the family business, Douglas Laing & Co. The brothers had taken over from their father, Fred Douglas Laing, and run the firm together for 40 years before deciding to go their separate ways, each taking half of the Douglas Laing brands and substantial stocks.
Hunter Laing & Co took on the single malt brands Old & Rare, Old Malt Cask and Douglas of Drumlanrig, and the Sovereign single grain brand. Four blended whiskies were also given to Stewart as part of the deal: Douglas Blend, John Player Special, Langside and House of Peers. Stewart’s sons Scott and Andrew, who had already established their own whisky business (Edition Spirits), joined Hunter Laing & Co and merged their whisky brands with their father’s. Stewart also retained the family’s bottling line as part of the deal.
In 2014, Stewart Hunter Laing celebrated 50 years in the whisky industry. Stewart was quite literally born into the business and joined his father’s company in 1964 after internships at the likes of Hiram Walker’s Dumbarton and Bruichladdich.
Hunter Laing & Co has grown quickly, expanding its warehousing with the purchase of premises in East Kilbride in 2015, which has the capacity to hold 14,000 casks.
In 2016, the independent bottler and blender announced it had purchased a greenfield site on the north-eastern coast of Islay, with the intention to build its own distillery, Ardnahoe. Construction began in 2017 and spirit ran from the stills one year later. The first casks were filled in November 2018.
Hunter Laing & Co boasts decades-old filling contracts with venerable distilleries and enviable relationships with some of the best cooperages in Scotland, the USA and Spain. The business continues to bottle highly collectable single-cask and blended whiskies, and will undoubtedly have a ready-made loyal fan base when it starts to bottle its classically peated Ardnahoe single malts.