Will is really excited by opportunities in Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Yet the nerve centre in Scotland remains the place where visitors to the distillery get to witness the whole process of whisky being made – from the grain that arrives into the hopper on a Monday morning to the bottle being labelled, all by the team on site.
And behind the scenes, financing a whisky business is also an interesting process.
A distillery has a totally different profile to most businesses, with stock assets that appreciate in value.
“There's something to be said for when your inventory goes up in value every year,” says Will.
With this very particular business model, they appreciate the real interest that HSBC takes in the distillery. Will says that HSBC is “really on the journey” with them.
“They're very level-headed, and they're very appreciative of the long timescales that whisky works on.”
HSBC is providing Bladnoch with asset-based lending (ABL), which is based on the value of their stocks of whisky. In 2020, HSBC provided Bladnoch with £7 million in ABL, which has now increased to £13 million. The business has grown significantly over that time. This funding allows the business to grow their asset base, lay down more stock, add value, and sell worldwide.
“HSBC really believe in what we're doing, we've got a great team that we work with, they're very supportive, they've seen our rapid growth,” says Will.
“The great thing about whisky is that they have got security and safety of knowing that there's inventory there that goes up in value every year.”
And as they think 10, 20, or 30 years ahead with the whisky being made today at the distillery, this success looks long set to continue.