Online whisky auction site, Whisky Hammer, and its sister retail business Still Spirit, is poised for global expansion after selling a 49% stake of the Scottish family business to Rare Whisky Holdings, a whisky investment group managed out of Hong Kong.
The multi-million-pound deal will deliver a 2.6X return to retail investors on their original investment, who participated in its crowdfunding campaign just two years ago.
Whisky Hammer started in 2016 by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne who are originally from Macduff, near Speyside, an area renowned for the production of Scotch whisky.
The success of Whisky Hammer, and its vast potential, has been recognised by Rare Whisky Holdings, which is the same management team behind the Platinum Whisky Investment Fund, the first private equity fund in the world to focus on rare single-malt whiskies.
Platinum Whisky Investment Fund launched in 2014, raised USD 12 million and is in the final stage of its wind down, exiting at over USD 24 million in 7 years.
Rare Whisky Holdings also owns the Glenor Cask Company, which holds 1,000 casks of maturing single malt, blended, and grain whiskies. The new investment and partnership ensures registered members of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit will receive exclusive access to a range of cask opportunities for the long-term.
Whisky Hammer hosts monthly auctions, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate. It has auctioned a wide range of whiskies, both bottles and casks, with auctions selling in excess of £1 million under the hammer each month.
A recent feature included the 31-Year-Old Black Bowmore ‘DB5’ collaboration with Aston Martin, distilled in 1964 and sold for a hammer price of £81,000 in March 2021. The customer base of Whisky Hammer features an extensive global network of whisky enthusiasts who buy and sell on the platform, resulting in a 70% growth in revenue in 2020.
Whisky Hammer re-located in 2019 to a new, purpose-built facility in Aberdeenshire, which is also home to Still Spirit – a whisky shop, e-commerce site and dram bar offering over 100 rare whiskies to taste while overlooking the beautiful Scottish countryside.
Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit said: “This is a very exciting time for our business. The transaction signifies an important bond with our new Asian partner that will rapidly bring the group to the next phase of growth, and we are incredibly excited about what lies ahead. In addition, we are delighted to have generated a substantial return for our crowdfunding investors that helped us build the business to where it is today.”
Rickesh Kishnani, Co-Founder of Rare Whisky Holdings commented “Our investment group is proud to join the Milne family business and help with their expansion to Asia, where the demand for whisky continues to grow at a rapid pace. We are also excited to use this new partnership to provide Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit members with exclusive access to our collection of aged casks.”
Legal support was provided for the transaction by Goodwin Proctor LLP (acting on behalf of the buyer) and Brodies LLP (acting on behalf of the sellers).
The Macallan is to auction an impressive 6 litre “Imperiale” version of the highly sought after Macallan M – the world’s most sophisticated single malt whisky, contained within a beautifully designed and meticulously crafted crystal decanter.
M represents a masterpiece created from the collaboration between three masters of their crafts; Fabien Baron, Founder and Creative Director of Baron & Baron, Silvio Denz, President and CEO of Lalique and Bob Dalgarno, Whisky Maker at The Macallan.
To celebrate the conception of M and its global launch in Hong Kong, four 6-litre Imperiale decanters were specially crafted by Lalique for The Macallan. These are the largest decanters ever made by Lalique. Each decanter required the work of 17 craftsmen, including two with the prestigious title, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, with each taking over 50 hours to complete.
Of the four, two have been archived by The Macallan and one has been committed to a private collector in Asia. The fourth, Constantine (named, as are the other three, after Roman emperors), is the only one to feature the engraved autographs of the three principal creators – Lalique/Silvio Denz, Fabien Baron and Bob Dalgarno. This highly collectable creation will be offered at auction of Finest and Rarest Wines and The Macallan by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on Saturday, 18 January 2014.
David Cox of The Macallan commented : “The six litre Imperiale “M” is the largest decanter ever produced by Lalique, and the largest decanter ever filled with the Macallan since the distillery was founded in 1824. This auction offers the successful bidder an opportunity to acquire something very special, drawing on the combined talents of one of the world’s great designers, the finest of crystal makers and makers of one the world’s great spirits, The Macallan. Hopefully the auction will realise an outstanding bid, worthy of this great piece, with the net proceeds going to a number of worthy charities in Hong Kong”.
The Macallan is one of the world’s most sought after and collectable whiskies, sitting at the top of the auction index for whiskies and holding the current Guinness World Record™ for the most expensive whisky ever sold at auction, The Macallan 64 years old in LALIQUE Cire Perdue went for US$460,000.
All net sale proceeds will be donated to a host of local charities in Hong Kong.
For more information please contact: Sarah McDonald or Linsay Moore at The BIG Partnership via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0131 557 5252.
Notes to editors:
Guide for Prospective Buyers
The weight of the decanter is 11.3kg with a height of 700mm. With six litres of Macallan at 5.5kg, the total weight of the decanter with whisky would be 16.8kg.
Buyer’s Premium: The standard 22.5% buyer’s premium will be applied to the hammer price, a portion of which Sotheby’s will donate to the Hong Kong charities benefitting from the sale of this lot.
This Property will be offered for sale without reserve. Pre-sale estimates: HK$2,000,000 – HK$4,000,000.
Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in 9 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BIDnow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art department, and two retail businesses, Sotheby’s Diamonds and Sotheby’s Wine. Sotheby’s has a global network of 90 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).
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