Celebrating a family’s three-century long relationship with Scotch, whisky from one of Scotland’s rarest private cask collections is being released for the first time.
Uncasked under the curation of the family’s ninth generation, Finn Thomson, the first release is debuting with a Glenlivet 50 Year Old.
Under the banner Finn Thomson Whisky, the collection aims to celebrate what’s described as Finn’s family’s 300-year-long relationship with whisky, from illicit pot stills to the days of blended whisky, and into the future.
A statement from the family explains that Finn’s great-great grandfather, Peter Thomson, set up his grocery and whisky business in Perth, Scotland in 1908, sharing demand with blended whisky names such as Dewar, Bell and Gloag.
When Peter Thomson’s was sold in the 1980s, Michael Thomson, Finn’s grandfather, started stowing away the young malt and grain casks that had formed the family’s secret recipe. The casks have been resting ever since.
Finn, the master bottler for his whisky, said, “For three hundred years, my forefathers have been involved in whisky … distilling, blending and trading. And growing up, I was always fascinated by my grandfather’s recollections of his time in the whisky trade. These stories have inspired me to reignite the family business and create new experiences and innovations in the exciting world of single cask independent bottlers.”
He said that, quietly, his grandfather spent the 1980s and ‘90s selecting and collecting the young casks of single malts and grains that had formed the secret recipe handed down over the generations. In doing so, he accumulated what’s said to be one of Scotland’s largest private cask collections.
“Now, it is my honor to bring this aged collection of rare casks to the lips of a new generation,” Finn said. “Each cask has its own individual personality. Every Finn Thomson whisky is a one-off with its own wonderful character. That’s my vision for the future and that’s why I am so excited.”
Finn explained that the portfolio is now a collection of rare and aged individual spirits, along with younger single malts. The plan is for the collection to be divided into Crown, Rare and Core ranges, each with a nod to a specific moment in time.
The upcoming launch will be marked by the release of one of the oldest whiskies in the Crown range, a Glenlivet 50 Year Old, which has matured in a first-fill sherry hogshead.
Today, it’s a requirement that all sherry must be bottled in Spain. But prior to the 1970s, it was common practice for sherry to be shipped, still in cask, to Scotland for bottling. Scottish whisky and wine merchants, including Peter Thomson’s, bottled their own brands of sherry and would then use the fresh sherry casks to mature their whisky stocks.
This 50-year Glenlivet is an example of one of these early sherry casks.
Initially, the Finn Thomson Whisky range will be available from specialist whisky retailers across the UK including Woodwinters, Villeneuve Wines, Freds Drinks, Oban Whisky and Fine Wine, Malts and Spirits and Aberdeen Whisky Shop, as well as launching in the three European markets of Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands.
Glenlivet 50 Year Old distiller’s notes:
- Age: 50 Year Old
- Cask: First fill sherry hogshead
- Cask number: 2,366
- ABV: 49.8%
- Date of distillation: March 6th, 1970
- Yield: 127 bottles
- Appearance: The sherry influence is at once apparent by looking at the color. The liquid is almost black, with deep magenta lights – like cola.
- Nose: There are deep Oloroso sherry aromas on the nose. Dried fruit – dates, figs, sultanas – all jump to mind. There are similarities with old Armagnac such as the intensity of the aromas here.
- Palate: The first sip coats the mouth with a voluptuous texture unique to aged whiskies. An initial sweetness, salted caramel, is replaced by the same dried fruits that are teased on the nose.
The Finn Thomson Whisky range will be divided into three categories:
- Crown – the oldest and most treasured single malts from Scotland’s most sought-after distilleries.
- Rare – exceptional single casks aged for at least 30 years from some of Scotland’s finest distilleries.
- Core – a collection of hand-selected single casks carefully crafted for experience, flavor and individuality.
Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...