1989 – the basics …
The name Stag’s Breath comes from Compton Mackenzie’s famous fanciful list of label titles in the hold of the SS Cabinet Minister in his hilarious book Whisky Galore – the fictionalised story of the true events during World War II when a ship laden with whisky went down off the West Cost of Scotland. Only the most serious effort, however, has gone into the quality assurance and design of the real-life Stag’s Breath.
Stag’s Breath Liqueur was first tried out by local hoteliers in Newtonmore as a toast at the traditional Hogmanay (New Year) occasion when this Badenoch community gives its annual welcome to hundreds of visitors from home and abroad. Nowadays, a torchlit procession along the Main Street of the village is led by pipers to the golf course where drams of Stag’s Breath are handed out in time for ‘the Bells’ at midnight and the spectacular firework display that follows.
Stag’s Breath went into production in July 1989 following a research development partnership between the Department of Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University and Meikles of Scotland Limited of Newtonmore. Fine Speyside whisky and fermented honeycomb are the principal elements of this fine drink, balanced to give a lighter, drier but most heartwarming palate experience to suit many tastes. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif, a straightforward after-dinner liqueur or simply ‘on the rocks’.
Stag’s Breath Liqueur comes in an attractive bottle with finger dimples. The symbols on the labels and presentation carton are distinctive treatments of the honey bee and the iconic Scottish thistle. The gold embossed box included a reproduction of D Y Cameron’s etching of the bridge built for the Duke of Gordon at Newtonmore in 1765 – the first bridge over the Spey, the mighty river of whisky.