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).
A rare bottle of the world’s oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan – also believed to be the oldest whisky ever launched by a distillery – from the distillery’s “Red Collection”, is being auctioned by online whisky auction platform, Whisky Hammer. Whisky Hammer is the first dedicated online auction house in the world to offer a bottle of the 78-year old whisky, giving its members the unique opportunity to bid on this super rare single malt Scotch whisky.
Whisky Hammer, a family-owned business in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has launched the online auction (https://www.whiskyhammer.com/auction/current) that will run until 7pm (BST) on Sunday 25 October with a starting price of £10,000 for The Macallan 78-year old. The auction features over 3,000 lots, from everyday drams to investment-grade iconic bottles, and represents Whisky Hammer’s largest online auction to-date. New members can join to participate in the auction by following Whisky Hammer’s quick and straightforward registration process at whiskyhammer.com.
Given its age, exclusivity and the level of global demand for The Macallan, the new release is expected to prove popular with whisky lovers and investors around the world.
The Macallan Red Collection launched this week comprises 40, 50, 60, 71, 74 and 78-year olds. The producer describes the new collection as “an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies, shaped by the actions of our founder Alexander Reid and key characters in our history, who have laid the foundations for our single malt today”. It adds: “This collection celebrates the rich range of reds present naturally in every step of our process”.
The 78-year old is described as reflecting “deep respect for time, tradition and craftsmanship”. It is being presented by The Macallan lead whisky maker Sarah Burgess and was laid down decades ago in The Macallan’s “hand-picked oak casks”. Tasting notes describe its colour as “Sunset on the Spey”.
Its oak presentation box is crafted by hand in the UK, using the same sustainable European oak used to make The Macallan casks. The box is upholstered with sustainably sourced, soft Scottish leather from Bridge of Weir Leather.
Whisky Hammer hosts auctions once a month, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate at www.whiskyhammer.com. It has auctioned several rare and collectible whiskies – both bottles and casks – since its launch in 2016. The business has recently re-located to a new, purpose built, facility in Aberdeenshire which is also home to a sister business, Still Spirit – a whisky shop and exquisite tasting room.
Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer, said: “We’re really excited to be able to offer something as rare as this 78 year old expression from The Macallan Red Collection for auction and we expect a very high level of interest in this lot. The Macallan is one of the most well-known and loved Scotch whisky brands and is regarded globally as the epitome of quality and taste – add to this the thrill of the oldest single malt ever released by Macallan, the end result is a true icon in whisky history.
“As a Scottish family-run business we have seen rapid growth since our inaugural auction in 2016 – today we are one of the largest online dedicated whisky auction platforms globally. We’re delighted to have been able to host such an exclusive whisky which builds on our growing reputation as a place for whisky lovers and investors to buy and sell these iconic whiskies.”
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