Duncan Taylor & Co

4 Upper Kirkgate


History - Although now based in the North East of Scotland, Duncan Taylor actually began their whisky business in Glasgow. The cask broker and trading company was opened on the 27th of May 1938, at 20 Renfield Street, in Glasgow. Over the years the company grew its reputation as a broker and over time gathered a remarkable portfolio of rare, aged casks of whisky. In the 1960’s the company changed hands and was now in the ownership of a New Yorker by the name of Abe Rosenberg. Abe had made his money importing J&B Scotch to America just after World War II, a time when they couldn’t get enough of our Scotch blends. He started storing casks that he had bought from Scotland’s best distilleries at the time. Although his blended business was the money maker his collection of single casks were what the company would become famous for. During his time running Duncan Taylor he managed to build up a collection of of over 4500 casks of incredible single malt whisky, many of which remain within the company’s collection today. In 2002, eight years after Rosenberg sadly passed away, whisky merchant and former Glendronch distillery employee, Euan Shand returned Duncan Taylor & Co to Scottish ownership when he acquired the company and its prized collection of single malts, single grains and aged blended whiskies. Under Euan’s ownership, the company which celebrated its centenary last year has grown into a globally respected independent whisky bottler, which can be found in more than 60 countries.

The Spirits - In their whisky portfolio they have several brands of blended and single malt bottling. One of my favourites is the Octave collection, named after the small casks they use in the maturation of the whisky. These smaller casks give more wood interaction with the whisky over a shorter period of time than in a large cask, therefore allowing a more rapid melding of wood, air and alcohol. The result is a whisky packed with flavour and intense aromas. They obviously have the ubiquitous gin called Indian summer in their range but you may be surprised that this company also have one of the best rum offerings you will find. If you are into your rum then seek out their single cask rum collection online and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Interesting fact - When Euan took over the company he also inherited the Black Bull whisky brand. This forgotten Scotch blend dates back to 1864 and at one point had once been one of the largest blended whiskies imported into the US, but was one of the causalities of prohibition in America which stated in 1919. Duncan Taylor have brought the Black Bull brand back from the dead and have released new expresssions every year since 2009.