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).
Founded in April 2014 and listed in Malt Marketing’s whisky directory, The Whisky Market Limited has grown from a modest private client base and now has over £2,000,000.00 of single malt Scottish whisky casks under management. The decline in global markets and alternatives in general forced many people to look elsewhere for value and a tax efficient hold.
Over the last 3 years, The Whisky Market Limited has been working with a very unique type of asset for a select clientele allowing them to access a piece of Scotch history by owning casks of Single Malt Premium Scotch Whisky.
Current independent reports are showing typical returns are around 7 – 12% per annum for holding Scotch whisky casks over the last 9 years.
On top of growing demand and great returns, Whiskies held in casks are exempt from both VAT and more importantly, Capital Gains Tax, ensuring all profit from cask ownership will be yours to keep!
As Malt Marketing continues to introduce more of the finest places to buy rare and collectible whisky, we are pleased to introduce Bonhams Whisky Department. Bonhams specialises in the sourcing and global auction sales of Vintage Single Malt and Blended Whisky and is run by Martin Green who has been the whisky specialist at Bonhams since 2008 after a career in whisky auctions stretching back over 30 years.
He is credited with devising and holding the first ever dedicated whisky sale in 1989. Today, Bonhams holds four whisky sales a year in Edinburgh and four sales in Hong Kong (two of which are combined with Fine Wine). These attract buyers from around the world and regularly achieve sale rates of over 90%
Martin is acknowledged as one of the country’s foremost authorities on whisky and has written widely on the subject.
Notable single owner collections: The Willard S. Folsom Collection, sourced from San Francisco comprising of over 3500 bottles offered in Global sales at Bonhams during 2009 and 2010, the largest whisky collection to appear on the auction market.
For further information and for details of up and coming whisky auctions, please see Bonhams website.
Are you of legal drinking age in the country where you reside?
© Copyright Malt Marketing