First Editions – Company and brand profile

“Our mission as a company is to bottle only the finest single-casks of  
Scotland’s malt whiskies, under our own First Editions label.”

“As a young company in an industry where time is of the greatest importance, we can afford to be patient.”

Founded in 2010, the origins of the company are rooted in the decades we have spent growing up in and around the scotch whisky industry, and our respect and passion for the spirit this history has instilled. With a label inspired by the classic elegance of an antique manuscript, the First Editions brand is the mark of quality which appears across our core range of single-cask bottlings of malt whisky.

We review our maturing stocks on a monthly basis, drawing samples from casks we believe may be ready for bottling. Always mindful of the benefits of a whisky being from just one cask, we will bottle it when we feel it is at its best for drinking rather than being influenced by “round” ages such as 18, or 25 years old.

The First Editions bottlings are always at cask-strength and, naturally, without artificial colouring or chill-filtration.

AndrewAndrew Laing, Managing Director
Trained to understand and appreciate the nuances of scotch whisky from an early age, Andrew spent some time on the Isle of Islay learning the hands-on side of the whisky business. Years later, while working in both the Far East and Middle East for large spirits distribution companies, Andrew began to invest wherever possible in casks of whisky from his favourite distilleries. Ultimately this led to him forming Edition Spirits Ltd in 2010 to share these treasures with like-minded enthusiasts.

ScottScott Laing, Business Development
With an MBA as well as a degree in law, Scott plays an important role in always keeping the business well-structured and forward-looking. At the same time, as a connoisseur of Islay malts Scott has the final say in the selection of the smokier First Editions bottlings 

“With a tasting panel of just two, we make no apology for the First Editions range being a very personal selection.”

Whilst the backbone of the First Editions brand is normally elegant, older, gentle Speyside whiskies, we appreciate and enjoy the spirit in all its forms. Therefore we are pleased to offer some of the best of casks from distilleries across all of Scotland’s regions.

Often, we decide a cask needs another year, or two, or five of ageing before going into the First Editions range. On occasion, we feel that a spell in an ex-sherry, rum or port cask would benefit the ultimate result and so we import these casks and “re-rack” the spirit into them for perhaps six months or a year. We are adamant that we will never rush to bottle a whisky, and will always give it the time it needs to show its best qualities.

MiltonduffWhen we have decided firstly that a whisky is suitable for bottling, after having carefully nosed and tasted it at both natural cask strength and with the addition of some water, we begin the enjoyable process of writing tasting notes. It may come as no surprise that these jottings become more florid and imaginative as the tasting session progresses.

The First Editions range is our flagship brand, under which we bottle single casks from our maturing stocks of casks from distilleries across Scotland’s whisky producing regions. Whilst these stocks consist of very young spirit through to extremely old malts and grains, we tend to prefer whiskies of around 18-30 years old. Of course, as the influence of the wood of each individual cask can account for perhaps up to 75% of a whisky’s ultimate flavour, this age range is a very rough guide.

Although we have been glad to bottle casks of Islay malt such as some excellent Bowmores which have found favour in the market recently, The First Editions range is best characterised by elegant, complex malts from the Speyside region. We are particularly fond of distilleries such as Cragganmore as well as the lesser-known Linkwood, Longmorn, Mortlach and Miltonduff; names which command huge respect within the whisky industry. We tend to bottle no more than 3 or 4 casks every month, and have around 15 separate First Editions bottlings in the constantly-changing range at any time.

Stewart Laing of Hunter Laing with sons Andy & Scott