Thomson and Wheatley team up to create The Spirit of Art


Drinks industry veteran George Thomson and artist Nichol Wheatley have teamed up to bring together limited-edition art and limited-edition cask whisky bottlings with a business called ‘The Spirit of Art.’

They will initially launch three cask bottlings with an artwork created exclusively for that cask.  A limited-edition print of the artwork will be sold with each bottle and features on both the label and the carton.

George Thomson, who over a 40-year career in the drinks industry held senior positions at Diageo, Grants and Forth Wines will seek out the whiskies while artist Nichol Wheatley, who most recently created 10 Tam O’Shanter canvases for Oran Mor owner Colin Beattie,  will commission artists to create the embodiment of the whisky on canvas.

George Thomson, explains, “It is neither the artist nor the whisky that is the star of our show – it is the combination of the genius in cask and on canvas that creates the magic behind the Spirit of Art.  This unique collaboration provides a great opportunity for whisky lovers to add to their collection or provides a unique gifting opportunity.

“These three launches are the first in a collaboration with whisky producers and artists that we will bring to the market in this exciting new venture.”

Joining George and Nichol in the business are Ewen Cameron, who has worked in the drinks industry for over 40 years with the likes of S&N and Forth Wines, and Euan Thomson who has been in sales roles within a number of drinks organisations.

The initial launches include:

  • 223 bottles of 13-year old cask strength (55.4% ABV) single malt whisky from Caol Ila distillery on Islay.  The bottles will retail at £210 each.

The artwork was commissioned from artist and musician Brian McFie.  Brian studied at Glasgow School of Art under the tutelage of Barbara Rae and Jack Knox.  He went onto become a professional guitar player performing with the likes of Marianne Faithfull and The Bluebells before returning full-time to painting.  His oil painting commissioned to accompany the bottling is of the shoreline at Caol Ila.

228 bottles of 10-year old cask strength (59.2% ABV) Speyside single malt whisky, Linkwood, retailing at £180 each.   It features the artwork of Nichol Wheatley’s oil painting of ‘On the way to Linkwood’ showing the bend of the river between Aberlour and Craigellachie.

  • 319 bottles of 10-year old cask strength (55.5% ABV) Speyside single malt whisky, Benrinnes, retailing at £175 each.  Artist Nichol Wheatley’s oil painting of ‘Ben Rinnes Hill’ shows the distillery in the foreground.

Nichol Wheatley, concludes, “Working with the art community to create and commission works of art for a drink I love was too good an opportunity to pass up.  The making of whisky is a true art in itself and the distilleries and their geographies provide the perfect inspiration to make great art.”

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