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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, enjoying fishing and stalking on their estate.

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, providing 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.

Deerstalker Hat

Typically worn by stalkers and hunters most people associate the word ‘deerstalker’ with this hat and with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.

First published in 1887 he has been portrayed in film and tv ever since wearing a deerstalker.

Woven from a heavy wool tweed it has flaps to protect the ears and is ideal for the Scottish weather.


The Deerstalker brand was first owned by a wine & spirit merchant from Edinburgh named J.G.Thomson.

He was quick to register the name and label in 1880 just five years after trade-marks came into being.

Their offices were in Leith and became known as The Vaults, home today to the Scottish Malt Whisky Society. Exports took place from the Vaults to all corners of the globe.

The brand changed ownership in 1994 and trades today under The Deerstalker Whisky Company which  is a Glasgow based company. We source where possible all our packaging from within Scotland.

We have four styles of whisky under the Deerstalker name.