Way back on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 under the ‘That’s Us on that Label!’ blog, we highlighted where deerhounds with their obvious Scotch heritage are featured as part of a Whisky label for the ‘Highland Chief’ blend. With Scotland being the worlds leading exponent of whiskies here’s an interesting little Scottish deerhound ditty for all the deerhound family out there. Did you know?
James Buchanan, a Scottish, London-based whisky blender and merchant was an ardent animal lover and in the 1890s, returning from a dog show, he conceived the idea for one of the world’s most famous trademarks. That trademark is the famous ‘Black & White’ from an export Scotch Whisky blend. Two little canine companions to we deerhounds were eventually selected for the permanent brand logo and label. The black Scottish terrier and the West Highland white terrier were adopted as the brand’s motif which is still in use today.
The whisky was the standard blend of the James Buchanan company which began in 1884 and the blend was originally known as ‘House of Commons’. The name arose after the company received a contract to supply the House of Commons with the whisky only one year after their conception. The firm was also one of the prime movers in the introduction of blended whiskies to the English market. The whisky was bottled and labelled in a very distinctive black and white livery and the popular nickname ‘Black & White’ eventually was adopted as the brand name. The customers simply asked for the black bottle with the white label - and after enjoying a few drams, this may go some way to explaining some of the behaviors, reasoning and political decisions made within the ‘House
’ both then and now.
After a series of mergers and acquisitions involving Dewar's, the Distillers Company, and Guinness (forming United Distillers), the ‘Black & White’ brand like so many brands changed ownership several times and is now owned by the organization Diageo
. The blend is claimed to be most successful in France, Venezuela and Brazil. At present, the brand ‘Black & White’ is not used within the United Kingdom.
What does it taste like: A clean, pleasant mild blend, Black & White has a fresh, grassy flavour, which is complemented by a light sweetness. Sounds like the medication we hounds enjoy when lacking - you know the stuff . . . when we chew a mouthful of that sheep, horse or cattle feed better known as grass.
This all seems a little much non deerhound to be featured on my blog, but the interesting part involves a little closer look at the history. When James Buchanan first visited the dog shows he was attracted to the Scottish Deerhound, whether he owned one, I’m not sure. Evidence can be found of the Deerhounds consideration in early printed adverts from the late 19th century which featured dogs as part of the marketing campaign. The oldest example can be seen here with the deerhound clearly visible, also a more recent marketing example is shown featuring hounds plus two examples with our two little highland tearaways. The evolution from the mountains to open top sports car reflects both the whisky and canine’s historical journey. But give me the Highland Glens anytime.Tak’ a wee dram and Slainte MhorLittle ‘Black & White’ snippets from around the web . . .‘Westies’ - The show development of the Westie lagged somewhat behind its development as a ground hunter. In England, the first dog show having a classification for terriers was held in Birmingham City UK in 1860.
The first Scottish show that included the terriers was held in 1871 in Glasgow. In 1899, at the Crystal Palace, a white Scottish Terrier was among the winners.
The first show where West Highland White Terriers were classified separately was in 1904 at the Scottish Kennel Club Show at Edinburgh. The West Highland White Terrier Club of America was formed and admitted to the AKC in 1909.
’ - The Scottish or Aberdeen terrier or "Scotty" has inspired more design and decoration than any other breed (hmm, deerhounds to your posts, we may have to contest this) The most famous appearance is as one half, along with a West Highland White, advertising ‘Black & White’ whisky. In some European countries both breeds are known as ‘Whisky dogs’.
Perhaps it is just as well we deerhounds did not end up on the label - even if, when you do mix ‘Black & White’ you get our grey. Whisky Hounds?!