The launch of Finn Thomson Whisky is the start of a new chapter for historic Scottish family
While a lot of whisky brand's history starts with a family, not many in Scotland are family owned. And not many new whisky ventures can launch with a prestigious bottling of a 50-year-old Glenlivet. But that's exactly what Finn Thomson Whisky has just done.
Taking inspiration from a 300-year-old family history of distilling, and stock from his grandfather's cask collection, Finn Thomson is ready to take the whisky world by storm and put his family name back out into the industry.
This family history starts with illicit distilling, and the creation of the Grandtully Distillery, which was described by Victorian whisky writer Alfred Barnard as being the smallest distillery in the UK and “the most primitive work we’ve ever seen”.
This was then followed by Finn’s great-great-grandfather Peter Thomson, who set up his grocery and whisky business in Perth in 1908, sharing his patch with blended whisky giants Dewar, Bell and Gloag. It was at this time the Thomson's created blended Malts Old Perth and Golden Beneagles – a large portion of which is Macallan.
The Peter Thomson name continued with Finn’s grandfather, Michael Thomson, who stowed away casks that formed Beneagles – Peter Thomson's was sold in the ‘80s – the result of which is an enviable family collection that forms the basis of Finn Thomson Whisky.
I was lucky to be at the launch event with Finn’s father, mother, sister and grandfather where we visited some of the locations tied to the family and their whisky-making past and tried a few drams from the new collection. These ranged from a sweet, nutty nine-year-old Blair Athol to a punchy, red wine finished Inchgower and the deeply dark, complex 50-year-old Glenlivet.
It's an exciting and deeply personal time for the family, but also for the wider industry.
Finn’s experience at Morrison & Mackay and Copper Dog, plus his and his grandfather's connections and a family history that sounds like it's straight out of a book, will mean Finn Thomson Whisky is sure to shine a new light on an almost forgotten whisky past and start a new chapter for the Thomson's.
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