Established in 1938, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited is a specialist independent whisky merchant with one of the largest privately-held collections of aged single malt and single grain Scotch whisky casks. Today, the company releases these prized spirits via an impressive range of award winning product brands, all bottled at its headquarters in Huntly.
Duncan Taylor & Co.
The origins of Duncan Taylor lie in the whisky collection accummulated by a legendary Jewish New York businessman named Abe Rosenberg.
After the 1933 repeal of prohibition in the United States, Abe Rosenberg and his two brothers sought their fortunes in booze. They got their wholesale liquor license covering Connecticut, New York and Miami, and in 1934 founded Star Liquor Dealers, now known as Star Industries.
Abe Rosenberg was an early devotee of single malt Scotch whisky and a very shrewd businessman. In 1938, he established a small whisky holding company in Glasgow, Scotland called "Duncan Taylor & Co.". It was both an investment vehicle and an outlet for his single malt hobby. The company was officially registered on the 27th of May 1938 at the business address 20 Renfield Street, Glasgow.
Duncan Taylor and Co. operated as a merchant and broker of casks within the Scotch whisky industry. Devotion to the principle of providing only the finest casks to be filled at Scotland’s leading distilleries has been a key feature of the company’s history.
When World War II ended, Rosenberg became a partner in the Paddington Corporation, the US importer of J&B Scotch. Rosenberg single-handedly saved the brand increasing annual exports of J&B to the US from 25,000 cases to 3.5 million cases.
Building a Legacy
Through Duncan Taylor & Co., Rosenberg began in the early 1960s to build private stocks of single malt Scotch whisky. He bought casks of spirit fresh off the still from distilleries all over Scotland. His tastes were exquisite, and a great many of these excellent quality casks were of whiskies that had predominantly been used for blending so few malt whisky bottlings of them ever went into circulation.
Abe Rosenberg amassed over 4,000 casks of single malt and single grain Scotch whisky by the time of his death in 1994.
Rosenberg's heirs didn’t wish to run the business, but neither did they want to accept the many offers they received from industry giants to split up the stock. Reaching out to Euan Shand, the Rosenburg children explained that they wanted to sell it to someone who would keep their father’s legacy alive. After being bowled over by the extent and quality of the stock, Euan bought the company in 2001 and moved the operation to Huntly, Aberdeenshire with facilities for cask storage, cooperage and bottling.
The Rise of Black Bull
With the company came the rights to Black Bull, an historic brand of premium blended Scotch that dates back to 1864. Pre-prohibition, Black Bull had once been one of the largest blended whiskies imported into the US, but was one of the victims of a dry America. Duncan Taylor has re-energised the Black Bull brand with the release of new expresssions every year since 2009.
New Premises in Huntly, Aberdeenshire
The company's business grew significantly with a focus on the development of its own branded premium products and accelerated growth of its blends business. In 2014, Duncan Taylor moved to new premises within Euan's home town of Huntly, close to Speyside.
Celebrating 80 Years
In all its 80 years, Duncan Taylor has remained true to its commitment to quality. The whiskies, gins and rums it releases under its many product brands are all the managed with the same care and attention. As a result, Duncan Taylor's products have earned it an impressive collection of awards over the years which are proudly displayed in the Huntly office.
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