AN INVERKEITHING whisky entrepreneur hopes that his collection of rare and deluxe malts will encourage more Scots to enjoy its most famous export.

Gregor Hannah established his business ‘Hannah Whisky Merchants Ltd’ in 2012 that independently bottles premium casks of Scotland’s national drink bought from distilleries producing limited amounts or from those which have closed down.

A graduate of business studies at Stirling University in 2009, Gregor (27) has already sold and exported more than 900 bottles of whisky around the world through his company’s brand ‘Lady of the Glen’, and having successfully secured funding from the Prince’s Trust last year, he has also been shortlisted for the Bank of Scotland Enterprise Awards.

After spending time working with Lloyds Bank, Gregor decided to utilise the passion he has for whisky and set up his own company that he runs from home and he said, “My dad was a piper in the Black Watch and would play at a lot of weddings, and he was the shadow of the lone piper at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Traditionally a piper would be given a bottle at these events and I was captivated by his impressive collection. What we have is a Scottish product that is world class, and one which I think a lot of people take for granted. Whisky is made here and I want to be in a position to sell it to people here and allow them to enjoy it because I think a lot of people maybe try a particular type, don’t like it and decide they don’t like all whiskies. It is my passion and I am trying to become the best independent bottler in the country. Everything we have is at cask strength, which is similar to giving someone a concentrate of juice, and they can add as much or as little water as they like. We want our products to be natural as possible.” Gregor has already released a cask from each of Scotland’s whisky producing regions, including the Lowland, which he says is “notoriously hard to get” due to the lack of distilleries left in that area of the country.

But a strong selling point of his business is that each of his whiskies are part of a limited edition of around 200 bottles, with each unique and presented in bespoke gift bags from Glasgow firm Bespoke Atelier, who designed murals on display at Glasgow Queen Street station during the Commonwealth Games.

“I’ve managed to release whisky from closed distilleries,” continued Gregor. “I acquired casks from Littlemill, which burned down in 2004, and Caperdonich which also closed. We’re bringing out a new whisky next week, Glen Garioch, a 21-year-old single malt from the Highland region which will be our ninth release. I’ve tended to avoid selling at whisky festivals in Scotland but what I have been doing is sending samples to whisky bloggers and reviewers, so I have access to their followers. The feedback has been really good but I’ve got a whisky tasting in a few weeks because it is a prestigious product, and expensive, so people want to try it first.

“Around 75 per cent of our sales are exports abroad, but the demand in the UK is growing and I would like to see it get stronger. I normally release one batch every three months, which is the turnover from the start of the process to selling it.

“I want to expand and release more casks on a regular basis, although it can be quite stressful and time consuming. But I see a lot of whisky being released that people don’t get access to and I want to give that to them.” For more information and to view the products Gregor has available, visit