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Matthew Gloag: Sixth generation of Famous Grouse whisky family dies aged 74

Matthew Irving Gloag.

Matthew Gloag, whose family created The Famous Grouse, Britain’s best-selling Scotch whisky, has died aged 74.

He was the sixth generation of the Gloag family to have been had been involved in the wine and spirits trade in Perth since the early 1800s.

In 1897 the company, which was once headquartered in Bordeaux House in Kinnoull Street, Perth, adopted the red grouse as its motif and the whisky became known as Gloag’s Grouse brand.

The exterior of Matthew Gloag’s premises in Perth in 1980.

Over the years as its popularity grew the blend, which had been aimed at Highland shooting parties, was re-branded as The Famous Grouse.

Matthew Irving Gloag, who was born in 1947, became a director of the firm, which merged with Highland Distillers, in 1970.

He took the place of his late father, Freddie, who had joined Matthew Gloag in 1947.

Stewardship

Matthew Irving Gloag was custodian of The Famous Grouse during a golden age of popularity and rising sales.

He took charge of sponsorship and The Famous Grouse branding was a familiar sight at game fairs, agricultural shows, and horse racing meetings.

The highest profile sporting event backed was the exclusive sponsorship of the Scottish rugby team for 17 years.

Leading brand

During this period in the 1970s and early 1980s The Famous Grouse started selling strongly in its home market, bucking the current trend at the time and rose to become the best selling Scotch whisky in the United Kingdom.

Matthew was also a leading figure in the licensed trade industry, twice serving as Chairman of Licensed Trade Association.

He was a Keeper of The Quaich and served on the management committee of that international society that recognises those that have shown outstanding commitment to the Scotch whisky industry.

The Famous Grouse.

He was instrumental in Matthew Gloag & Son being awarded the Royal Warrant as Scotch Whisky Blenders by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen and remained the Grantee.

Matthew retired from full-time duties in December 2002, and was appointed consultant to the company for life, continuing to be an ambassador for The Famous Grouse until his death.

He lived near Meigle and is survived by his wife Dilly and their two daughters Emma and Sorcha.

The Famous Grouse is now part of the Edrington drinks group.

You can read the family’s announcement here.

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