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Issue 53 - A true touch of glass

Whisky Magazine Issue 53
January 2006


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A true touch of glass

Glencairn Crystal is playing a major role in promoting dedicated whisky glasses. But as Dominic Roskrow reports, there is more to the company than that

Question:What do British actor Leslie Grantham, American superstar Kelsey Grammer and the folk behind Glencairn Crystal got in common?

Answer: They have all been very successful, and they have all been victims of their own success. So well known has their best creation been that they have struggled to get recognised for anything else.

You suspect, though, that while the reputation of Dirty Den and Frasier has been an annoying bane to the actors saddled by them, Glencairn's Davidson family would merely shrug their collective shoulders at the dilemma, and treat themselves to another glass of whisky – served naturally in the company's distinctive glass of course.

Glencairn has built up a formidable reputation for its dedicated and stylish whisky tasting glass in recent years, so much so that there are plenty of us who don't feel entirely comfortable enjoying a dram from any other vessel.

But the glass isn't the be all or end all of the company's business – far from it. And for the fatherson partnership team of Ray, Paul and Scott Davidson, that's ironic. For stroll around the family's factory shop in East Kilbride on the outskirts of Glasgow and there's barely a whisky tasting glass in view.

What there is are shelf after shelf of tumblers, decanters, bottles and vases, sports trophies and, perhaps a little more surprisingly, porcelain.

“Perhaps we haven't been the best at telling other people the whole story,” says Ray. “We are very enthusiastic about whisky and ...

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