Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for May 13, 2019

May 13, 2019

•Sotheby’s Wine has hired Jonny Fowle as its first-ever dedicated spirits specialist. Based in London, Fowle will be responsible for leading Sotheby’s expansion into the whisky and spirits auction market. He’ll pursue single-cellar sale opportunities as well as direct consignments of high-value bottles and casks, single owner live auctions, online auctions, and direct sales of high value bottles and casks. Foyle reports to Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine, who’s based in New York. “Historically, spirits were integrated into our wine auctions and constituted a small part of our business,” said Ritche. “Over recent years, we’ve seen increasing sales of both Scotch and Japanese whiskies, as well as Moutai, which now represents about 5% of our business. Jonny will focus on developing spirits as a separate category and growing this area of the business.”

•Holyrood Distillery, the first single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Edinburgh in almost 100 years, is set to open in July. In advance of the opening, the distillery is selling 100 casks through The Holyrood Cask Programme, which will allow buyers to customize ingredients and preparation to shape their cask to their taste. Three cask types are available—a barrel (200 liters), a hogshead (250 liters), and a butt (500 liters) at £4,500 (roughly $5,850), £5,500 ($7,150), and £10,500 ($13,650), respectively. The cost includes flavor consultation, whisky creation, storage for ten years, sampling, insurance, labeling, and bottling.

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