Let's take a trip back in time through the past of the meeting place of fine spirits. Come aboard the Whisky.de chronicle..de time capsule, strap yourself in and set a warp-driven course for the most important milestones in our 30-year
Founder Theresia Lüning discovered her love of whisky . From these experiences, the mail order business The Whisky Store was born, which later became Whisky.de. Selling from their own cellars, the company was then officially founded in 1993 in Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg.on a trip to Scotland with her husband Horst. In the following years, they travelled to Scotland, the USA and Canada and visited various
As one of the first companies,.de has been represented on the Internet since 1994 and, in addition to numerous products in its wide range, has at its disposal
-huge whisky database with detailed portraits on the history and of international whisky distilleries
-well-founded knowledge articles on production, , the whisky industry and individual bottlings
-the active Whisky.de forum with about 40,000 users, 160,000 ratings and around 1 million contributions
The first employee from Seeshaupt joined the team. In the following years, a large, additional extension cellar was built with two dispatch workstations and the magic turnover million was reached in the same year. But still in DM. What a big cellar it was! Many thousands of bottles were stored there and presented to the ever-growing number of customers in long rows of shelves. Who could have guessed back then that this cellar, built 'for eternity', would be too small in just a few years?
With Horst Lüning on board, the company grew again. The graduate aerospace engineer expanded the website to include a shop system and studied direct marketing during his weekend studies. The private basement business slowly turned into a real small business.
In 2000, the first special storage were bursting at the seams. The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the including offices took place on 9.11.2001, which meant that there was finally enough space for all the whiskies, incoming deliveries, outgoing deliveries and temporary storage.catalogue with a print run of 20,000 copies was printed and the ensuing growth was overwhelming. The already extended and converted cellar rooms and the garage used for
Additional employees were hired for financial accounting, purchasing and internet development.
In 2002, the jury of the Federal Ministry of Economics and the industry association Bitkom nominated The Whisky Store as one of eight companies for the German Internet Prize. In the same year, The Whisky Store was voted Retailer of the Year by an industry magazine. In the following upswing, the company transformed itself from a classic catalogue mail order company to a modern internet retailer, without neglecting its catalogue customers. In the same year, the virtual club was launched with the new printed club newspaper The Whisky Times.
In 2003, the free whisky book was published, which has been downloaded from the internet more than one million times to date. In the following years, it was constantly expanded and even supplemented with an audio book version.
In 2004, the new forum was much more comfortable for all involved and in the meantime the forum became a whole community and theClub reached 4,000 members.
Horst Lüning started blogging in 2005 . First in a separate section of the forum and then, after a few years, in his own blog.
In 2006 , The Whisky Store was awarded the Young Business Award of the Bundesverband des Deutschen Versandhandels e.V.. An honour that could not be higher for a small, young company. After all, the Federal Association with its companies represents 70% of the German mail order turnover of 28 billion euros at the time.
In 2007 Horst Lüning shot his first and now legendary whisky video of a bottle of Lagavulin 16 years. The first videos were rather wooden and bumpy, but over the years things got better and better. Today, son Benedikt has taken over the video blog, but Horst Lüning doesn't miss the opportunity to contribute tasting videos from time to time. The blog now has 3,000 videos with over 46 million views. At that time, The Whisky Store achieved a turnover of €10 million.
In 2010, after many years, the domain Whisky.de was acquired. But it was to take some time before the domain manifested itself in the company name...
In 2011, the editors of Versandhausberater named the company Online Shop of the Year at the Mail Order Congress in Wiesbaden. A little anecdote on the side: due to a spelling mistake by the engraver, the award now adorns the internet domain.com, which was not yet owned by the company at the time. A prescient omen?
In 2013, the domain Whisky.com was acquired at auction for a considerable sum of money, which made headlines on an international level. Since then, parallel to the thousands of German-language pages on Whisky.de, identical web pages in English have also been created on Whisky.com. This internationalisation was also the starting signal for Benedikt Lüning. The mechanical engineer brings ten years of international experience to the company.
In 2016, Benedikt Lüning took over the position of managing director. Benedikt (who is known as Ben to his colleagues, employees, fans and followers), in addition to his management activities, also heads the marketing department and shoots extensive documentaries on location at (whisky) distilleries worldwide. He also spends a lot of time in front of the camera: he regularly reports on explosive news from the industry in Whisky.de News or tastes whisky, gin and rum for the 75,000 YouTube subscribers and at Whisky.de/LIVE.
In addition, the name was changed and The Whisky Store became .de GmbH & Co KG. At the end of 2016, the first live video event took place, in which Ben and Horst Lüning answered questions from viewers. The viewers asked via chat and the two answered in the live video.
In2018, the 25th anniversary was properly celebrated with numerous special and exclusive bottlings, of course also from the founding year 1993. In addition, since this year there is a special shop area for club customers, where rare bottles first go into a club pre-sale before they become available to the general public. Taste ratings have been introduced with new tasticons, making it immediately apparent to prospective or regular customers what flavour the selected bottle in the Whisky.de shop is. Despite the fact that the print media was believed to be dead, the whisky catalogue was printed with a circulation of 100,000 copies, as in previous years.
In 2019, Whisky.de built on its already well-established position in the market and expanded into Austria.
Since 2020, the first two Whisky.de bottlings "Horst Lüning " and "Highland Cattle" have been available, which were personally created by Horst and Ben Lüning through a creative taste and research process.
In 2023,.de built on its already well-established position in the market and expanded into the Netherlands.
Today, Whisky.de is the leading whisky mail-order company in Germany. It offers its customers not only a first-class online shopping experience, but much more around the topics of whisky and spirits enjoyment.
In addition to his management activities, Ben heads the marketing department and shoots extensive documentaries on location at (whisky) distilleries worldwide. He himself spends a lot of time in front of the camera: he regularly reports on current events in the industry in Whisky.de News or tastes whiskies, gins and rums for the 75,000 YouTube subscribers. Owner and founder Theresia Lüning still works diligently and spiritedly in the purchasing department. Horst Lüning still makes tasting videos, which already have cult status among many customers and people interested in whisky.
Whisky.de is a relatively small but unmistakable institution on the international spirits market - compared to the larger groups - which has always remained true to itself and will celebrate its 30th company anniversary in mid-June 2023. In addition to the whiskies and of this world, the meeting place of fine spirits now also offers gin and rum.
-Over 75,000 YouTube subscribers
-Bottle database contains over 35,000 bottlings,
-Around 46 million views of the Whisky.de video channel on YouTube
-Forum with 40,000 members