Spirits partnership ages well for RESCU


CONTRACT packing specialist RESCU Solutions is raising a glass to toast a hugely successful first year of the company’s partnership with Isle of Harris Distillery (IHD).

Having initially teamed up with IHD as its mainland packaging partner for the distillery’s award-winning gin products, RESCU is now working with the firm on its new whisky venture, The Hearach, described as the historic first single malt whisky from the Isle of Harris.

RESCU, which operates a purpose-built 10,000 square feet facility at Eurocentral just off the M8, was founded in 2003 by directors Robert Ellis and Douglas Reid, two experienced whisky industry professionals. Alongside head of operations David Fay, they continue to lead the business, which prides itself on being a Real Living Wage employer. The firm is a finalist this year in the UK Packaging Awards in the Co-Manufacturer & Packer of the Year category, and also a finalist in the Living Wage Scotland Awards (Newcomer category). RESCU, which recently became a member of the BCMPA (British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association), provides a one-stop-shop for contract packing, storage, and distribution, offering a range of flexible services designed to add value and ensure customer products are always in the right place at the right time.

The business has grown steadily over the years and is now a major player in the drinks sector, having delivered a number of successful projects for high-profile clients including Glenmorangie, Edrington, Diageo and Tennent’s.

One of RESCU’s newest customers is Isle of Harris Distillery. Douglas and Robert knew one of the distillery’s senior figures from their days in the whisky trade and were invited to visit the island in the Outer Hebrides last year to take a look at the operation.

Having outgrown distillery space capacity due to the success of its gin, and conscious of further upcoming expansion with The Hearach launch, IHD had anticipated the need to find a compatible packaging and logistics partner to deliver their products to the UK mainland.

Douglas Reid said, “The kind of customers we have are looking for somebody who will take care of their products because they are precious to them. We spent a day with IHD, received a tour, and very quickly gave them a few ideas as to how they could improve their own capacity and efficiencies, which they’ve embraced and taken on board.”

An important part of sales for Isle of Harris Gin are online. Every day, RESCU receives a list of orders and is tasked with printing off labels and handwriting personalised messages from customers to be placed into the gift packs. The 12 packaging variants of gin are carefully packed in stylish boxes and stored prior to shipping.

The partnership has helped reduce IHD’s carbon footprint and resulted in quicker delivery times for customers. The seamless transition has allowed the distillery to focus on key competencies during a period of significant change and expansion.

Robert Ellis explained that a trust and friendship has developed between the two businesses, which share a lot of synergies.

“Isle of Harris Distillery is all about looking after people and we’re very much like that,” he said. “The products align themselves very well to what we’re trying to do.

“It’s premium packaging, which is an area we’re increasingly focusing on. The partnership has been a great fit and worked out superbly well for everyone.”