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.
Creating Finn Thomson Whiskies has been a journey of discovery and delight for Finn and his family: sifting through forgotten photographs; pouring over meticulous minutes; hunting down leads in the Scottish National Library; even scouring the glens of Perthshire on foot to source the original site of the family distillery at Grandtully.
With each turn of a page and bend in the path the Thomson story has become more layered. We wanted to recreate that experience in the bottle itself. The difference between looking and seeing.
Imagine looking after a cask. Imagine waiting. Watching. Calculating and carefully measuring the right moment to halt maturation. Will a few more months ripen or might they ravage?
Imagine the moment when Finn decides that the whisky has reached its prime. The barrel is opened and its contents unlocked forever. We call this moment uncasking and we want you to share that experience.
That’s why all our packaging is designed to evoke uncasking. Across our range we have turned the metaphorical cask inside out, with the outer boxes representing its charred interior. Cocooned inside is the whisky waiting to be released, by popping, twisting or prying, and yield its treasure.
Nine generations have formed Finn Thomson Whisky, so it is only appropriate that they shape the product itself.
The packaging across our ranges, Crown, Rare and Core, are constructed as nine-sided nonagons; a side for each chapter in the Thomson whisky story. They come together like staves in a cask to encase the whisky; a sum greater than its individual parts.
Our bespoke bottle also has nine sides, each catching the light slightly differently and making the liquid inside glitter and refract. They taper together at the base of the bottle to create the shape of a sunburst, a nod to the sunset in the Cairngorms that saw Andrew Thomson, his son Finn and daughter Sorcha resolve to ignite the Thomson whisky enterprise once again.
Every bottle of Finn Thomson is crowned with a bespoke ceramic stopper. Each handmade and therefore unique, these stoppers are a tribute to the golden age of Beneagles when Michael Thomson pioneered collectable ceramic drinking vessels for his blended whisky — from cheerful fisherman’s flasks to a stunning 32 piece chess set. Like their 1960s counterparts, the Finn Thomson bottle stoppers are all limited editions; a different stopper for every release.
Finn Thomson casts a whisky-shadow nine generations long. So, too, the monogram encompasses more than Finn himself. Look long enough at the FT and more letters will begin to emerge: an ‘A’, a ‘P’, a ‘D’, a ‘J’, an ‘M’. The Finn Thomson monogram is pieced together by the initials of the characters who came before him. A whisky lineage locked in glass.
Finn Thomson believes whisky should be experienced, savoured and shared in the messy, magical business of memory-making. So when Finn introduces his whisky to others, it’s personal.
It’s the Thomson way. As Managing Director of Peter Thomson’s Ltd, Finn’s grandfather, Michael Thomson, would lead whisky aficionados and industry bigwigs on an annual pilgrimage across the Scottish Highlands. In full Highland dress, they would retrace the footsteps of defeated Jacobite rebel Bonnie Prince Charlie as he fled from Culloden to the Isle of Skye in 1746. For the 80 mile trek Michael insisted they take only raw oats, water and whisky for sustenance – anything more substantial they would need to catch for themselves.
Some of the finest malts of the time were enjoyed under an open sky, among aching limbs and stench of campfire, paired simply with conversation, laughter and camaraderie. Whisky – we think – done right.
A Finn Thomson event will always be intimate, memorable and coated in story. Let glittering galas and faceless functions be the hallmark of other brands. Finn Thomson Whisky will always be an experience.