Every Scotch whisky brand needs to be distinctive and stand out in a highly competitive marketplace, so, when the Glasgow Distillery Company invited Stand to help them create a brand for their exciting new single malt blended whisky we knew we’d be able let our imaginations run wild.

With over 30 years’ experience branding some of Scotland’s most iconic whiskies, Stand knows that building a strong and authentic brand story is paramount to long term success, so our team set about identifying an authentic Glasgow story that would communicate the exciting and unique nature of GDC’s soon to be launched blended whisky and resonate with an adventurous whisky drinking audience.

Our research uncovered a story we felt perfectly captured the restless spirit and adventurous nature of GDC’s new liquid. A story that would give GDC ample opportunity to build an exciting dynamic new brand around in the years ahead. That story was the Glasgow malt tax protests of 1725, which saw a tax imposed on Scottish malted barley, a tax that threatened to destroy the very foundations of whisky distilling in Scotland.

What became locally referred to as ‘the Glasgow Malt Riots’ captured the passionate spirit within the city at that time as Glaswegians joined forces to protest against the tax and stand up for their rights. Excise men were chased from the city as residents stood firm to protect their livelihoods. The tax was soon scrapped, paving the way for what has become one of Scotland’s most important industries today.

The graphical approach, bold and emotive illustration, vibrant colour palette and traditional bottle shape adopted by Stand work perfectly together to create a striking brand that evokes the powerful feelings of Glasgow in 1725 and positions GDC’s Malt Riot as a liquid to celebrate, to protect and for people to enjoy together.

Our Malt Riot brand story has only just begun, and with new releases coming in the months ahead there are more chapters for us to write as this brand grows.

Speaking about the story behind the new Malt Riot brand, Liam Hughes, CEO and co-founder of The Glasgow Distillery Company, said: “The story of the malt riots is a really powerful one for us to tell. Not only does it heavily involve the people of Glasgow taking a stand for what they believe in, but it was a catalyst that helped forge the Scotch whisky industry as we know it today. This story has been largely forgotten and is not widely known until now and is a wonderful example of the fiery passion and determination that continues to live on in our city.”