SPEYSIDE Distillers Company is targeting further expansion in the UK and overseas after securing a £2.3 million funding package from Clydesdale Bank.

The Glasgow-based company, which produces single malts from its Speyside Distillery near Kingussie, sells its products in more than 20 countries and will use the funding to respond to growing demand from markets including Vietnam, Malaysia and China.

Chief executive John Harvey McDonough, whose ancestors founded the business in Glasgow in 1770, said consumers in China and South East Asia were increasingly able to afford whisky and sought out the best quality.

“Once people have a basic knowledge of whisky, they want to learn more and they then discover that single malt, within the Scotch whisky category, is the best type of whisky,” he said.

Speyside’s brands include the SPEY Lord Byron The Marriage, which commemorates the 200th wedding anniversary of the Romantic poet, who is said to have gifted a cask of the whisky to King George III to celebrate the occasion. The distiller also recently launched Beinn Dubh, a single malt created using locally sourced barley and matured in port casks, giving it a distinctive ruby-black colour. The name, which translates from Gaelic as ‘black mountain’, pays tribute to Ben Macdui, the highest peak in the Cairngorm mountain range.

“SPEY is one of the biggest brands in Taiwan, but over the last few years we’ve also focused on growing our presence worldwide and here in the UK,” Mr McDonough said. “As a result, our whisky is now available in several key and emerging markets, including Germany, Russia, Australia, France and the Netherlands.

“Clydesdale Bank has provided funding to help us to produce and acquire more stock to meet demand as we build our brand internationally.” He added that the bank’s support had been crucial in the launch of Beinn Dubh last August.

Robert Gibson, head of Clydesdale Bank’s Regional Business and Private Banking Centre in Glasgow, said: “Speyside Distillers Company is a strong, well-managed business with ambitious growth aspirations. Its experienced team already has a fantastic track record in growing the business and, with whisky continuing to be one of Scotland’s top food and drink exports, Speyside Distillers is in an excellent position to expand further.”

Speyside employs 84 staff in the UK, Taiwan and China.