Yesterday on Facebook I was pointed to the fact that the whisky.com domain apparently had changed ownership. The most generic of all whisky domains had been leading a rather low-profile life as a whisky-related portal including a forum until December 2013 (last snapshopt of archive.org).
For a short while a rudimentary page was placed on whisky.com that showed The Whisky Store, Germany’s biggest whisky retailer, as new owner of the domain. But this has been taken down last night. But a check on Whois confirms the new ownership.
The Whisky Store is owned by Theresia Lüning from Seeshaupt in Bavaria, her husband Horst is managing the website. I had interviewed both of them in 2011.
Frau Lüning had already acquired the domain whisky.de for an undisclosed amount in 2010 after the previous owner put it up for sale.
Along with the whisky.de takeover, the already existing German forum of the website was transformed into a full-fledged whisky community with bottle database and personal collections like it has been already done by connosr.com and others. The English language placeholder page that had been visible for a while suggested that whisky.com might be developed into a similar format for an international audience.
Obviously, whisky.com is the crown jewel of all whisky domains and has the potential to be a big cash cow. While some have expressed doubts that a specific top level domain does not matter that much anymore, I am convinced this site will show up on top of all Google seaches for “whisky” soon after it has been properly launched. Dot.Com domains do get a bonus for international searches while the bonus of local top level domains is restricted to their own language searches.
The price for whisky.com must have been substantial, and without a doubt the new owners hope for increased revenue by extending their website interntionally. But I am not so sure how they expect to generate more money given the fact that their online whisky shop is only shipping to Germany. That is, until now. Maybe they have changed their minds and will also offer international shipments with the launch of whisky.com.
With a whisky community alone it would be very difficult to generate that additional income. And I seriously doubt that the world needs yet another new online whisky community.