Another from a series of Whisky Insider interviews, we ask Daniel Milne from Whisky Hammer, a new online whisky auction that is launching shortly, to chat to us about the business, whisky, and life in general.
Who is behind Whisky Hammer?
Whisky Hammer is run by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne. Both brothers are keen whisky enthusiasts having been brought up in the North East of Scotland, on the doorstep of arguably the finest whiskies in the world - the Speyside region. Daniel and Craig have been actively collecting rare and limited edition bottles from across Scotland for over 10 years and at the same time following valuations and trends of the industry.
What makes Whisky Hammer different to other auction sites?
Whisky Hammer believes a premium product deserves a premium service - and that’s exactly what the Company guarantees to offer. We are both very excited to inject our history of passion for whisky into offering an auction service that will specialise in some of the rarest bottles in the world.
For sellers, Whisky Hammer will offer a personalised service on each and every Lot, from hassle-free collection through to ensuring prompt payment at the auction end. Our global outreach of whisky investors and collectors will ensure record prices are achieved for your bottle.
For buyers, we will endeavour to offer an exciting range of bottles for the enthused collector / investor. The online auction software is second to none and will offer a seamless bidding service followed up by rapid shipping worldwide.
When does Whisky Hammer go Live?
The full Whisky Hammer website will go live in early 2016, with the inaugural online auction anticipated in around March 2016.
What was the last dram you had, and where was it?
Macallan 18 year old fine oak. Enjoyed in my living room - a celebratory dram for getting another step closer to launching the Whisky Hammer page… Sláinte!!
What distilleries/brands excite you? and why?
Macduff distillery (Glen Deveron) - given we were born and raised in Macduff this distillery has a special history with both Whisky Hammer brothers. Also The Glenlivet was probably one of the first whiskies that helped me learn and develop the ‘taste’ for whisky - lately i’ve been really enjoying the Nadurra series.
The whisky industry seems very strong at the moment, where do you see it going over the next few years?
The continuing strength of the whisky industry is reflective of such a special product having a level of global interest and demand which was never anticipated by us modest Scots at the time of distillation!
According to Rare Whisky 101, the value of collectable whiskies sold at auction in the first 6 months of 2015 were valued at £4.6million - an increase of 33% in comparison to the same period in the prior year.
Considering scotch whisky for collecting, or more seriously as a investment, is in my opinion both a very enjoyable hobby and a very real method of gaining investment returns. The industry, from an investment perspective, is still at an early stage - there are no doubt still a vast amount of exciting, but limited, bottles to appear from distilleries across Scotland, active and silent. All the time we wait for the water of life to awaken from it’s sleep, as it gathers complex flavours and history in oak casks, the global interest in Scotch whisky continues to strive, resulting in continuing upward value trends for the foreseeable future.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Our ambitions are high for Whisky Hammer, so in 5 years I can only hope that I am celebrating a 5 year Whisky Hammer success story with my brother and wider family, after having satisfied a large number of buyers and sellers, as well as further enhancing our own knowledge (and taste buds) for the industry.
What dram would you absolutely not be able to live without?
It’s a difficult one, but if I had to choose today I’d go for The Glenlivet Nadurra 16-yo.
Dalmore, Mortlach, Macallan have all taken a jump to that sought after range recently, as have a number of older blends, can you give us an example of a brand you would like to see run with these big players?
As mentioned above, Macduff Distillery is special to us. It is situated in a beautiful part of Scotland, and it would be great to see a limited Glen Deveron release with some special history to put Macduff on the map! Another very underrated favourite is Scapa distillery.
Many thanks to Daniel and please remember to go visit the website at Whisky Hammer.
You can also check out our Interviews section for more interviews.
Daniel (Left) and Craig