Shares in Artisanal Spirits (ART:AIM) rallied 5% to 117.5p in debut AIM dealings with investors keen on the potential of the online whisky seller’s global growth plans.

The owner of Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) and distiller of premium single cask Scotch malt whisky and other spirits, Artisanal Spirits plans to use the £26 million raised from investors through its stock market listing to fund further investment in its high-quality products and to expand global membership of flagship brand SMWS.

Edinburgh-headquartered Artisanal Spirits arrived on the stock market's junior AIM segment with a starting valuation of £78 million having raised the fresh funds at 112p per share from institutional and retail investors. These included a number of UK-based members of SMWS. £15 million of the £26 million is new money with the balance going to selling shareholders.

Newly appointed chairman Mark Hunter demonstrated his belief in the business by making a personal investment of £1 million.


Whisky has undergone a renaissance over the past two decades, with younger drinkers discovering one of the world’s ancient spirits.

Artisanal Spirits says it is ‘building a portfolio of premium brands that bring together some of the world’s best producers with a growing movement of discerning consumers’.

And a key point of differentiation from conventional spirits retailers and resellers is that the group engages in both spirit and cask selection and in active management of the maturation process, which accounts for a significant proportion of the flavour profile of the finished product, in the same manner as a distillery.


Founded in 1983, SMWS has a growing worldwide membership of 28,000 paying subscribers and a presence in over 30 international markets.

Members get exclusive access to a vast and unique range of outstanding single cask Scotch malt whiskies and other spirits from over 20 countries.

Between full year 2016 and full year 2019, Artisanal Spirits’ revenues almost doubled from £7.6 million to £14.6 million, representing a compound annual growth rate of 24%. Sales growth for full year 2020, excluding sales from UK venues and events impacted by the pandemic, was still tasty at 22%.


David Ridley, Artisanal Spirits’ executive managing director, commented: ‘Our members are at the heart of everything we do, and we believe our status on AIM will enable us to access the capital required to bring them an even wider variety of premium, limited edition whiskies, spirits and inspiring experiences.’

He described his charge as a ‘distinctive, fast growth, direct to consumer online business with high barriers to entry, operating in an industry with strong tailwinds. With a clear vision for the future, we believe our company is at a significant inflection point in its development, and are thrilled by the prospect of sharing our success with our new shareholders.’

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Issue Date: 04 Jun 2021