Though there is little hard evidence, Robert Haig was said to have operated the earliest whisky distillery. It was certainly the earliest ever referenced for in 1655 he was scorned by church elders for using his still on the Sabbath and was summoned to appear before the Kirk Session. In 1824, one of his descendents, John Haig, built the Cameron Bridge distillery in Windygates in the Lowlands. It was one of the first distilleries to produce grain whisky. The Haig Gold blend was released around this time. John’s cousin, Robert Stein built the first continuous still. In 1877, Cameron Bridge merged with five whisky companies, forming Distillers Company Ltd. John Haig was one of the directors. In 1919, John Haig & Co was purchased by Distillers Company Ltd. During the early 1990s there was a substantial refurbishment and in 2000 the distillery reopened after £9 million of renovations. Cameron Bridge is, today, a decidedly colossal distillery with a capacity of over thirty million litres annually. A single grain whisky is released from the distillery and bottled as Cameron Brig. There have been both independent releases as well as the official bottling. Today, Cameron Bridge is set for gin production following the closure of Gordon’s gin distillery in Essex. The Haig brand lives on today with the Dimple range of blended whiskies. Remember the motto, ‘don’t be vague, ask for Haig!’.
Haig House, Albany Street, Edinburgh