Atom Brands has bolstered its senior management team with the appointment of renowned spirits industry figures Sam Simmons and Lora Hemy as Head of Whisky and Head of Distillation respectively.
That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Ableforth’s maker Atom Brands has invested significantly in category and production expertise with the appointment of Sam Simmons as Head of Whisky and Lora Hemy as Head of Distillation.
Samuel J Simmons, PhD., is a highly respected whisky educator, communicator and Keeper of the Quaich. He joins Atom Brands from William Grant & Sons, where he served as Global Ambassador for The Balvenie single malt Scotch whisky since 2010. Prior to that, Simmons worked at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and The Whisky Exchange, after establishing himself through his groundbreaking blog, Dr. Whisky.
Simmons, who holds a PhD. in English Literature, now takes up the role of Atom Brands Head of Whisky, where he will work with one of the best teams in the business to oversee the liquid for the company’s existing whisky brands (That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Darkness!, The Blended Whisky Company) as well as developing and creating all future mature liquid.
I have known the Atom guys since they were three nerds sat in a shed,” said Simmons. “To join a company of peers and friends, people who I have watched grow a business from strength to strength in a way that is so admirable, industry-leading and downright cool, there was no decision time needed when Ben invited me onboard.
– Samuel J Simmons
Appointed as Atom Brands head of distillation in late 2017, Lora Hemy has worked as a Head Distiller and consultant at distillery start-ups, including at Welsh distillery Aber Falls. She joins Atom Brands from Halewood Wines and Spirits, where she launched the company’s distilling operations, and previously worked at Whyte & Mackay’s Dalmore single malt whisky distillery.
Hemy, who holds an MSc in Brewing & Distilling from Heriot-Watt University, will oversee all Atom Brands distilling and rectifying operations, across the likes of Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin, That Boutique-y Gin Company and The Handmade Cocktail Company. Lora’s extensive experience in recipe development will also see her contribute heavily to the NPD process.
I am a long time admirer of Atom Brands, and I couldn’t be happier to have joined such a forward-thinking team. Working with amazing products and top talent from across the industry is incredibly exciting and I am enjoying every moment.
– Lora Hemy
I can’t conceive of any two people in the world I’d want in these roles more than Lora and Sam. They both combine absolute relentless drive and enthusiasm for the spirits category with a knowledge base that’s world-class to generate respect and admiration from industry colleagues and customers alike.
These appointments represent an investment for the future, and underline our unyielding commitment to liquid quality without compromise.
– Ben Ellefsen: Atom Brands’ Managing Director
Atom Brands creates and owns award-winning, convention-defying drinks brands including Ableforth’s, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, That Boutique-y Gin Company, Darkness!, The Handmade Cocktail Company, Drinks by the Dram and Bitter Bastards. In 2017, Atom Brands was named UK Gin Producer of the Year by the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).