Whisky Focus - Thomson Family May Sell Largest Private Collection Of Whisky Casks

Thomson Family May Sell Private Collection Of Whisky Casks


2nd November 2017
The Thomson family, owners of one of Scotland's largest private collections of rare Scotch whisky casks have said that they may sell all or part of their collection if the offer is right.

The Macallan 30 Year Old, Cask No. 3335, sold in Spink's Hong Kong auction was a part of the Thomson family portfolio which they may now be willing to sell.

The Thomson family, owners of one of Scotland's largest private collections of rare Scotch whisky casks have said that they may sell all or part of their collection if the offer is right.

The announcement follows the recent record breaking sale where a full cask of The Macallan 30 Year Old whisky, owned by the Thomson family, Cask No. 3335, was sold in Spink's Hong Kong auction for a record price of 285,000.

Not only does that Macallan 30 year old cask enjoy the record of the highest price realised at auction, but is also the most expensive per-bottle cask sold in auction worldwide as it only produces 288 bottles, coming to a price of almost 1000 per-bottle.

Following the sale of the single cask of Macallan this is the first time that the  Thomson family have indicated that they may sell their incredible portfolio of casks which includes more than 150 casks of single malt and grain whiskies from the Speyside, Islay and Highland regions which were mostly distilled in the 1970's and 1980's, with more than a few gems amongst them such as 1970 Macallan butts and Glenlivet hogsheads casks.

You may ask how does a family accumulate such a collection of whisky, well the collection is owned by brothers Andrew and Stuart Thomson, whose ancestors entered the Scotch whisky industry in the 18th Century.

Subsequent generations of the family developed the business over the years, in 1922 the family company of Peter Thomson, based in Perth, and inspired by the luxury Gleneagles hotel which had just been built in the area created the Beneagles Scotch blended whisky.

The company achieved international success after World War II when it decided to bottle the Beneagles whisky in china decanters, for example in the shape of a curling stone which proved very popular in the USA. There was also a series of chess pieces named "The Thistle and the Rose" and a series of birds of prey with the golden eagle being very popular.

In the 1970s, the company was appointed as sole agent for selling The Macallan as a single malt throughout Scotland.

The Thomson brothers' father Michael sold the business to the Stakis Corporation in 1983 but the stock holding of malt and grain whiskies remained in the ownership of the family.

Most of the portfolio is stored at the Macallan Distillery at Craigallechie in Moray and Glenfarclas Distillery at Ballindalloch, Speyside.

Andrew Thomson said selling the entire collection was among several options being considered by the family, adding: "If anyone made us an offer for some or all of the portfolio, we would be obliged to look at it. If you look at it in football terms, every footballer is available at the right price."

If the Thomson family portfolio of Macallan and Glenlivet single cask whiskies is a little outside your budget don't worry you will find something a little easier on the pocket available from specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange
 

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