The Deerstalker brand was first owned by a wine & spirit merchant from Edinburgh named J.G.Thomson. He noted the importance of trade marks and realising that these proud, forthright men opitomised the Highland spirit, registered the name and a label with the character of a Deerstalker in 1880, just five years after trade marks came into being.
Since that time it has been trade marked in every major country . J.G.Thomson’s offices were in the port for Edinburgh (Leith) and became known as The Vaults. The building remains to this day and is now home to the Scottish Malt Whisky Society.
Exports took place from the Vaults to all corners of the globe. The brand then changed ownership in 1994 and trades today under The Deerstalker Whisky Company.
Stalking and Whisky
The stalking of deer in the Scottish Highlands is as much a tradition as the distilling of whisky itself, and may be traced back to the 1700’s. Most estates employed stalkers, fiercely independent men, who were respected for their knowledge of the ‘mountains’ and their abilities to track the native red deer.
Deerstalkers achieved notoriety in the Mid 1800’s when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert rebuilt Balmoral Castle & settled for much of the year in the Highlands fishing and stalking; characters such as John Brown became known far outside the Highlands. Whisky, already established in Scotland now became ever more popular south of the border partly as a result of the bond between the royal family and the Highlands.
Stalking deer in the Highlands has a long and noble tradition and is today a necessary activity for controlling numbers of red deer and for providing much needed income into Scottish estates. There remain today many professional stalkers who have inherited the skills of their forefathers, and provide a valuable contribution to the economy of the region.
It is appropriate that a whisky should be named after a profession so closely associated with the source of the national drink.