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Whisky company Douglas Laing announces name of new Glasgow distillery

A Scotch whisky company that is set to build a new distillery on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow has announced the name for the new site. 

Published: August 27, 2018
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Independent Scotch whisky blender and bottler, Douglas Laing & Co. has announced that the new distillery will be named 'Clutha', after the Gaelic word for the river which runs through the heart of the city, when construction is completed in 2019.

As well as the location of the new distillery, the team say the name will also reflect  the company’s heritage.

Established in Glasgow in 1948, the third generation family firm has stayed true to its roots and credits the iconic river with playing a key part in its early success as well as a pivotal role in the globalisation of the spirit.

The company’s founder, Fred Douglas Laing grew up overlooking the Clyde, and was immersed in its shipping through the 1920s and 30s, before establishing his whisky business on the Broomielaw.

With 70 years of experience in the Scotch whisky industry, the brand recently decided to turn its hand to distilling.

Planning has now been submitted for the £10.7 million 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 almost treble from 24 to 65.

The first Whisky to be created by the new distillery will also bear the name ‘Clutha’.

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The whisky specialist explained that Clutha Whisky will be a "high end single malt with a heavy sherry influence through its maturation in ex sherry casks" and will differ from traditional Lowland styles in that it will offer a "rich, mouth-coating" flavour.

Chris Leggat, CEO at Douglas Laing & Co., said: “Douglas Laing has a long and proud association with Glasgow and the Clyde with the city at the heart of the company.

“It was important to us that the new Distillery was located on the banks of the Clyde as it brings us back to where the company has its heart. After careful consideration the name was selected to reflect our proud heritage and the importance of the location.”

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Cara Laing, director of whisky, commented: “We have long held this ambition for Douglas Laing to operate its own Distillery and bottling operation in Glasgow. Not only will it bring Whisky distilling back to the South Side of the city, it will create welcome jobs and generate significant additional high-value exports.”

The company, which already sells to 50-plus countries worldwide, added that the new distillery will allow it to go further and create deeper growth into existing markets including North America, Europe and Asia Pacific markets, in particular China, plus the UK domestic market.

The Clutha Distillery is expected to open in autumn 2019.

As part of the new project, Douglas Laing will also be working with the Clutha Trust to identify ways they can support the music and arts charity which was founded by Clutha Bar owner, Alan Crossan.

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Mr Crossan explained: “I felt distinctly emotional when Douglas Laing asked me if they could name the new Distillery ‘Clutha Distillery’. The legacy of the Clutha Bar will be the charity work we do, and now we may also have a part to play in bringing back the River Clyde to the people of Glasgow.

“The opportunities for the Clutha Trust will be enhanced by the involvement of Douglas Laing. The new Clutha Bar on the banks of the Clyde and the new Clutha Distillery will be the catalyst that opens the river to a new generation.”


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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