As a cask comes to maturity, Finn curates sampling sessions in interesting and relaxing environments, with friends, whisky experts and trusted partners to discover the personality of each cask and gauge the experience each dram evokes.
All the best distillers pride themselves on crafting whisky with a distinctive flavour, which is determined by the water source, grain and barley, the peat and malting, and their distilling processes. High quality original spirit is integral to every cask we bottle.
The cask itself interacts with the whisky over time. The type of wood plays a big role, as do treatments such as the whiskies are aged in a variety of types of casks. The whiskies are aged in former sherry or bourbon casks, augmenting the cask influence. External conditions such as air temperature, pressure and humidity also interact with the cask producing a knock-on effect that makes the spirit inside unique.
Finn uses these factors to balance each FT whisky experience. He may sample a cask and decide to leave it on the rack, allowing age to further develop its personality. He might decide to re-rack a whisky in a new cask to add a finishing touch. Or, he might simply deem it ready. When Finn decides the flavour is perfectly balanced, it’s time to bottle the whisky.
It wasn’t just Michael’s stories around growing the family business of Peter Thomson’s, the house blend ‘Golden Beneagles’, or importing wines and spirits from around the world, remarkable as they were.
It was also his tales of walking through Scotland with his fellow industry leaders dressed in the Highland plaid in homage to Bonnie Prince Charlie, drinking whisky together around the fires of bothies. That spoke to me of the camaraderie and fellowship between people who were both competitors and friends. A common bond forged by Scotch.
Quietly, Granddad Michael spent the 1980s and ‘90s selecting and collecting the young casks of single malts and grains that had formed the secret recipe of the Beneagles blend, handed down over the generations. In doing so, he accumulated one of Scotland’s largest private cask collections.
Now, it is my honour to bring this aged collection of rare casks to the lips of a new generation. Each cask with its own individual personality. Every Finn Thomson whisky a one-off with its own wonderful character.
Sharing my family’s cask collection gives me the opportunity of making new friendships, creating fresh ideas and ground-breaking collaborations that lead to one-of-a-kind experiences for whisky lovers everywhere to enjoy.
That’s my vision for the future and that’s why I am so excited.
And what drives this vision? For me, it’s one simple question: ‘what if?’ That’s what past generations of my family asked when they embarked on new ventures. Now it’s my turn.
A new adventure has begun. Join me.