Crawford's Profile

Blended Scotch Whisky

For its loyal fans, particularly in Scotland, Crawford’s 3 Star was appreciated as an honest, good value blend with a crisp grain-heavy freshness and beguiling wisp of smoke. With its cheap, clear glass bottle and plain label you could say it was a triumph of substance over style. It certainly wasn’t over-packaged in the domestic market where it has become increasingly rare.

A smarter version resembling Ballantine’s has been used for export, while its late lamented deluxe version, Crawford’s 5 Star – which was sometimes bottled as a 12-year-old – has been discontinued.

Its owner, A&A Crawford, also bottled Crawford’s Special Reserve.

  • Production type
    Blended Scotch

Crawford's History

The whisky firm of A&A Crawford was established in Leith in 1860, and its flagship 3 Star blend was created before the turn of the century.

Customers wishing to trade up could also purchase Crawford’s 5 Star once it was launched in the 1920s. To confuse matters Daniel Crawford & Sons Ltd of Glasgow had released its own eponymous blend by then.

By the time A&A Crawford had been adsorbed into the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) in 1944, 3 Star was one of the most popular blends in Scotland. Unfortunately it was now part of a vast stable of DCL blends and obviously overshadowed by the likes of Johnnie Walker, Dewar’s and White Horse. In the fall-out from the Guinness takeover of DCL in 1986, the UK rights to Crawford’s 3 Star and 5 Star and a raft of other whiskies including Haig and The Buchanan Blend passed to Whyte & Mackay. Diageo – the successor to DCL – continues to own the rights to the brand overseas.

Timeline

  • 1860 A&A Crawford is established in Leith
  • Late 19th century Crawford 3 Star is launched before the new millennium
  • 1920s The more premium Crawford’s 5 Star is released
  • 1944 A&A Crawford is picked up by the DCL
  • 1986 The UK rights to Crawford 3 Star are leased to Whyte & Mackay

Owners

Current owners

Previous owners

See also

  • Auchroisk Auchroisk Auchroisk Distillery & brand

    Auchroisk

    One of Diageo’s ‘nutty-spicy’ sites.

  • Benrinnes Benrinnes Benrinnes Distillery & brand

    Benrinnes

    A highly individual Speyside whisky.

  • Blair Athol Blair Athol Blair Athol Distillery & brand

    Blair Athol

    The home of Bell's blended whisky.

  • Cardhu Cardhu Cardhu Distillery & brand

    Cardhu

    The home for Johnnie Walker in Scotland.

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