1 July 2022

115th Whisky Insiders Interview - Finn Thomson

Finn Thomson Whisky

How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I joined my local whisky company Morrison & MacKay straight after leaving university in 2013. Before that I had spent time working as a tour guide with Torres wine in Spain – a brand which my grandfather had imported to Scotland in the 70s and 80s.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Other than launching my own brand which has undoubtedly been my proudest moment so far, I will always fondly remember opening up the Italian market for the first company I worked for. What makes that more special is that I am now partnering up with the very same distributors to launch Finn Thomson Whisky in Italy this summer.
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?

Growing up surrounded by whisky it's hard to remember the exact moment when I tried my first one. I do remember my dad taking me to Tobermory Distillery after we had been wild camping on Mull. I remember him letting me dip my finger in his dram and have a taste.
What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky has been the livelihood of 9 generations of my family so it really does feel like more than a drink to me. That family legacy is the inspiration behind my career and drives me to try to be as entrepreneurial as possible to that I can also leave something to the next generation.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I’m really excited about some of the projects and partnerships that I’m just starting right now. Some of these ideas won’t be ready for at least 5 years and I can’t wait to see how they develop. But I’m in this for the long haul so time is on my side. I’m also looking forward to developing my own audience for my style of single cask bottlings – hopefully in 5 years’ time people will really understand what my approach to whisky is all about and I can’t wait to share that.
What was your last dram?
A rum cask finished North British 1991 sample which I am lining up for bottling soon. It needs a few more months but is going in the right direction.
Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
On our launch event the chef at The Grandtully Hotel paired our Caol Ila Oloroso Finish 15 year old with smoked honey and caramel chocolates in front of an open fire. A complete one off but one of the best pairings I’ve ever come across.
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?

At halftime in either Scotland football or rugby matches. I’ll always try to sneak in a couple of my samples and share them with whomever I’m there with. It’s a fun way of creating tasting notes and stories for future releases of the Finn Thomson brand and also a great way to celebrate rare wins but
more often than not a way of numbing the pain of our regular losses.
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?

There are so many cool things going on in the industry right now from fractional distilling to all sorts of weird and wonderful finishing. But I think we are going to see an even bigger boom in small craft whisky brands that are pushing the limits of what we can do as whisky bottlers. There are already some amazing independent bottlers out there and hopefully we can add to the buzz.
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
Glendronach 15 year old Revival (the pre-2015 bottling) is the whisky that really got me into whisky. Hard to come by these days but I was lucky enough to pick up a few bottles when it was available and hide them under the bed.
Many thanks to Finn Thomson. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out