Questions? We’re Here To Help
At Cask 88 our goal is to educate individuals who are interested in purchasing a cask about the entire process to help them make an informed decision. Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions are shown below, but if you’re not finding what you’re looking for please click here to contact us.
We’re a group of enthusiastically like-minded whisky fans – individually different in many ways, but united in our love of fine Scotch whisky. We have great relationships with whisky providers all over Scotland and these allow us to get some truly great casks of whisky.
This means that we’re not just brokers looking to make a good sale; we aim to be there for your entire period of cask ownership – From Cask to Glass – and make that whole experience enjoyable and easy to understand.
This depends entirely on what you are looking for, and we can ask the questions that will help us find out what kind of cask would best serve your needs.
Younger casks offer flexibility – they can be more affordable to start with, but with the promise of exceptional gains as they age. They are great for long-term planners. Furthermore, since younger whiskies may not yet have settled on their final identity, they offer more choice in terms of re-racking (see below) and bottling date.
Older casks offer more certainty – their prices are higher, but their immediate desirability is evident. The prestige and value of an older cask of whisky is second to none, and the rarity of older casks keeps interest high.
The BC20 report can offer further insight into cask ownership request a copy here.
It’s sometimes possible with a younger establishment, but distilleries usually don’t have the time or logistics to interact with private individuals seeking casks – they typically deal with large numbers of casks at a time.
Cask 88 have years of developing contacts and relationships that allow us to access the casks which we can, in turn, offer to private individuals on a more personal scale. Some Scottish distilleries are less known than others – but we can help people find the hidden gems they might not have considered.
We aim to make this as transparent as possible. There are 3 main costs for cask owners.
The first is the most obvious: the cost of the cask itself. This is dependent on many factors, including the size and type of the cask, the volume and strength of the whisky inside and the prestige and rarity of the distillery that produced it.
There are maintenance costs over the cask’s lifetime. Simple cask storage and insurance is £65 per yearafter the first three years of complimentary insurance expires. An independent appraiser annually checks cask values of client casks, ensuring that insurance is calculated appropriately. If you would like to draw a sample from the cask, or order a re-gauge or a re-rack, these incur a small fee.
If you choose to bottle the cask, then duty must be paid. Whisky in the cask is a duty-suspended product, and so tax must be paid at the time of bottling. This is calculated based on the strength of the alcohol being bottled. If you live overseas, you will pay duty and other locally appropriate fees at the destination country.
Re-gauging is a vital part of the whisky maturation process. It’s basically a medical check-up for the whisky and gives you accurate data on how many litres of whisky are in your cask, and what alcoholic strength the liquid is at. Alcohol levels naturally drop over time, and if the alcohol percentage drops below 40% abv, then the product is no longer legally whisky. This is unlikely to be an issue until the whisky is past its 40th birthday, however.
Re-racking is an optional but popular part of the process, and allows cask owners to get more involved in the direction of their whisky’s maturation. Ordering a re-rack allows you to move the liquid from the cask it inhabits into a different cask. This might be to refresh its flavours, change its character, or experiment with something new. There are many different cask types available – our team can advise you on how different casks can affect the whisky – though maturation is a complex enough process that nobody has the power of perfect prophecy yet!
Some people are looking for an alternative investment to diversify a portfolio.
Some people just love whisky, and want to invest to become a part of the process.
Some people want to buy something now and watch it grow and develop over time.
Some people want to bottle something commercially.
Some people want to bottle for loved ones, or a special occasion.
Some people want to team up and have a fun project with friends.
Some people are local, and like being involved with local industry.
Some people are interested in Scotch as an exotic, overseas luxury item.
Most people are a mix of all of the above. Everybody is thus an individual case for us. We can find a cask or several to suit everyone’s needs.
Casks are huge, very heavy and difficult to manipulate – you definitely need specialist facilities to do so. Aside from that, Casks can ONLY be stored in HMRC bonded warehouses as the spirit inside is ‘duty suspended’ and therefore the government needs to keep a very close eye on it.
We have exclusive use of a bonded dunnage warehouse in Speyside, where we store clients’ casks unless otherwise requested. At this location, visits can be arranged and samples more easily drawn.