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Glenlivet 50YO kicks off rare whisky collection

One of Scotland’s rarest private cask collections will be bottled for the first time under the Finn Thomson Whisky brand, with Glenlivet 50 Year Old as its first release.

Glenlivet 50 Year Old
The debut release of the range is Glenlivet 50 Year Old, one of the oldest whiskies in the Crown line

The Finn Thomson Whisky collection celebrates the Thomson family’s 300-year-long relationship with Scotch whisky.

The range is now being released by ninth generation family member Finn Thomson.

Finn’s great-great-grandfather Peter Thomson set up his namesake grocery and whisky business in Perth in 1908, alongside blended whisky giants Dewar’s, Bell’s and Gloag.

After the sale of the business in the 1980s, Michael Thomson, Finn’s grandfather, started stowing away the young malt and grain casks that made up the secret recipe of Beneagles whisky. The casks have been left to rest ever since.

Finn Thomson, master bottler, said: “For 300 years my forefathers have been involved in whisky – distilling, blending and trading. And growing up, I was always fascinated by my grandfather’s recollections of his time in the whisky trade. These stories have inspired me to to reignite the family business and create new experiences and innovations in the exciting world of single cask independent bottlers.

“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 has its own individual personality. Every Finn Thomson whisky is a one-off with its own wonderful character.”

Inaugural release

The portfolio, divided into Crown, Rare and Core ranges, presents a collection of rare and aged spirits, as well as younger single malts.

The Crown range will comprise the oldest single malts from Scotland’s most sought-after distilleries, while the Rare series includes single cask whiskies aged for at least 30 years. The Core line offers single cask bottlings.

The debut release of the range is Glenlivet 50 Year Old, one of the oldest whiskies in the Crown line.

The 49.8% ABV expression was matured in a first-fill Sherry hogshead, with the Sherry being bottled by merchant Peter Thomson’s in Scotland.

In the 1970s, before the legal requirement that all Sherry must be bottled in Spain, it was common for Sherry to be shipped in casks to Scotland for bottling.

The 50-year-old Glenlivet whisky, with a yield of 127 bottles, offers notes of fried fruit and oloroso Sherry on the nose, while the palate brings an initial sweetness of salted caramel followed by dried fruits.

The full Finn Thomson Whisky range will initially be available from specialist whisky retailers across the UK including Woodwinters, Villeneuve Wines, Freds Drinks, Oban Whisky and Fine Wine, Malts and Spirits and Aberdeen Whisky Shop.

It will also be available in Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The past few years have seen an increasing number of eye-wateringly expensive and old Scotch whiskies hit the market. The Spirits Business looked at the impact of these bottlings on the sector.

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