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From questions about purchasing and ownership to understanding whisky terminology, we've tried to answer the most frequent queries we get here...

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About Cask World

Unfortunately there have been some less than scrupulous operations claiming to sell casks of whisky with guaranteed annual returns – this isn’t the case, whisky casks are a long term investment.

With Cask World we ensure you have the peace of mind and understanding you need to proceed, providing you with evidence of your ownership in the form of a purchase invoice and cask ownership certificate direct from the distillery as well as photos of your cask(s) bearing your details. It’s also reassuring to know that we only offer casks from distilleries we’re happy to invest in ourselves, proving just how confident we are of their future success.

When considering new distilleries for the platform, we apply the ‘Triple P’ of the Cask World Standard: People, Place, Product. You can read more about this in the 'What makes us special' page.

For casks held in the UK, the system is a bit different; in order to own goods held in duty suspension, it is usually a requirement to be registered with the government. Cask World is a division of Rosewin Holdings PLC, who have been approved by HMRC and hold WOWGR Trading Registration Number GBOG358133800. This allows us to store casks (on your behalf when necessary) in a highly secure bonded warehouse of our choice and move those goods without payment of duty from one warehouse to another. This means that, as well as having access to maturing casks from UK distilleries, we are also able to import casks under bond from abroad. Therefore, you can have the utmost confidence in us to manage your cask whisky ownership journey.

While the impact of COVID-19 has yet to be measured in full on the whisky industry, demand is still outstripping supply, especially in lots of cases production during the pandemic has been limited, with distilleries running on reduced capacity and frequently shifting to production of hand sanitiser to assist in fighting the virus.

Demand for tangible assets has also risen, and with Scotch production limited there may be further opportunities for new world whisky to increase its share of the market. With this in mind, the very nature of cask investment means that this could be a better time than ever to invest - although as always with any investment, there are no 100% guarantees.

About Purchasing & Owning Casks

We currently only sell casks. That said, you don’t have to buy the cask alone! Why not team up with friends, family or invest in it for your business. There are lots of options and we’d be happy to discuss them with you.

In many cases, ongoing annual storage and insurance fees are included in the cask’s purchase price. Where it is an additional cost, this will be made clear to you prior to purchase. Some infrequent or optional aspects of cask maintenance, such as re-gauging or the sending of samples, may also come at an additional cost.

As long as your maturing whisky remains under bond, it is tax free (except for the Angels’ Share!). Should you wish to bring it out of bond at exit (e.g. for bottling), you will need to pay the applicable taxes and duty in the relevant country.
In the UK, HMRC classes whisky casks as a wasting asset, and it is therefore exempt from Capital Gains Tax for British citizens.

We have spent time developing a relationship with each of our partner distilleries and have negotiated special (and often limited offer) prices from them. This enables us to pass that value on to you – and by buying new-make spirit and being prepared to wait, you have the opportunity to benefit even more from any future rises in value from these promising brands.

The term WOWGR stands for ‘Warehousekeepers and Owners of Warehoused Goods Regulations’. A certificate obtained under these regulations allows a business to own goods in a bonded warehouse in the UK without payment of duty and move those goods from one warehouse to another. For more information on our WOWGR and HMRC certification please see the About Cask World section of these FAQs.

Casks are usually stored on site at the distillery where the spirit is made; however, in some instances – such as when the climate is very hot - we may make the decision to move the cask to our fully insured, UK HMRC bonded facility after it’s absorbed some of the local terroir, in order to keep the Angels’ Share at a more manageable level.

All casks are fully insured and securely stored under bond either at the distillery or at HMRC-controlled UK warehouses.

You will receive the following from the distillery:

  • a paid invoice showing you as the purchaser of the cask
  • an official Certificate of Ownership
  • photos of the cask with your name stencilled on it

(For casks held in the UK, the situation is slightly more complex, with strict HMRC oversight. In some cases, the UK distillery may be happy for the cask to be held in your name, but other distilleries may prefer for it to be held under our company WOWGR registration. This will all be explained to you prior to purchase.)

See more in ‘How do I know I can trust Cask World?’ in the 'About Cask World' section of the FAQs

First of all, we do all we can to ensure that we only partner with distilleries who have laid the foundations for a sustainable and successful future. They are carefully vetted and visited, and please remember that we only allow distilleries on the platform that we have had the confidence to already invest in through Rosewin Holdings PLC.

Next, your casks are not listed as assets of the distillery; they are listed as belonging to you, and your purchase documentation proves this. Liquidators would be required to return them in full to you before any pay-out to creditors – this is the huge advantage of being an owner of property and not a creditor of a business. You cannot lose your stock through insolvency, only through its physical theft or destruction, and these risks are insured.

We usually recommend holding casks of new-make for at least eight years (or following the advice from the distillery based on fill strength and their experience of optimum maturation period), but there is no minimum length of time you have to keep your cask(s). However, as the whisky usually increases in value over time, you may lose money if you exit early on.

Optimum maturation depends on lots of factors and can take between 3 and 50 years! Your cask(s) will be checked and re-gauged in line with the distillery’s usual practice, and when the time is right we will be able to assist you with a wide variety of exit options.

Once you’re a cask owner with us we are happy to help arrange a visit to the distillery to meet the team and see your very own cask in situ. Alternatively we have a close relationship with each distillery and can often arrange a virtual tour for you (possibly combined with a tasting!). Please do bear in mind that all our partners are working distilleries and a visit may take some time to organise.

The simple answer to this question is, “No.” Part of our agreement with our partner distilleries is that Cask World takes care of all of the customer-facing aspects of our relationship. This is mainly because the distilleries need to be allowed to focus all their energy on the very important business of making top quality whisky! Rest assured that the Cask World team are always on hand to assist with any queries you might have.

We can arrange for samples from your cask(s) to be sent to you, and the option is always available to bottle some or all of your spirit and have it delivered to you or your chosen location. Please note, there are costs involved with bottling and these can be significant depending on requirements so please contact us to discuss your options.

If you’re interested in a new world whisky from a distillery we don’t currently have on our list, please get in touch. We’re always building new relationships and may already be in a position to help with the distillery in question, or if not we can look to advise you on either an alternative or the best approach to getting the casks you want.

About Purchasing & Owning Casks

We purely offer the best of new-make spirit produced by leading new world distilleries, ensuring we’re offering what will become a premium single malt with a better projected return.

New world whisky is any whisky produced outside of traditional whisky-producing nations. To be called Scotch the whisky must be distilled, matured, and bottled on Scottish soil, to methods tied to a strict set of rules. Whilst new world whisky respects traditions, it is open to far more freedom in methods and ingredients.

Whilst Scotland has done wonders to promote whisky, times have changed. It’s even highly debated that the Scots perhaps learned the craft of whisky making from the Irish! These days there’s a thriving whisky scene across the globe, and arguably some of the world’s greatest whiskies are being produced in countries far and wide with a wealth of different climates and techniques, from Japan, India, Europe, Australia, North America, and even Iceland!

The overall process is similar to that of making scotch whisky – starting with malting, the barley is soaked in water until it sprouts, before drying, grinding and mixing with hot water in the Mash Tun (mashing).

During this process the barley starch is converted into a sugar. Next yeast is added turning the sugar to alcohol (fermentation)…it’s at this point that it starts to look like the whisky you know and love. Next the alcohol is heated, and the steam produced expels any nasties before cooling again back into liquid (distillation).

Finally, the new make spirit is aged in casks or barrels (maturation), drawing out the flavours and aromas from the wood surrounding it for a minimum of 3 years (and up to 50 years) before bottling ready to enjoy.

The difference with new world whisky is the ability to make use of new techniques and the local environment and raw materials, allowing for a unique twist on the final product.

The key difference is new-world distilleries can experiment to bring their own unique style to the spirit whereas Scotch is tied by strict processes. Often using new techniques and equipment along with the freshest high quality ingredients and wood varieties from their locality, new world distilleries can enhance the notes in the whisky and allow aspects of their environment to assist in developing its character.

When the casks are kept in extreme climates it can have an impact on the time maturation takes and the angels’ share, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Among other things it can lead to the spirit developing to an exceptional depth at a faster pace; however, whatever the climate you can rest assured it’s being regularly checked and will be moved and stored securely elsewhere if required.

In most cases, yes! Another advantage of our close relationships with our distilleries is the ability to work with them to meet your individual taste requirements.

We visit all our distilleries in person to find out more about their passion, processes and the team behind their whisky. You can be assured that any distillery we represent meets the cask world standard, and to prove how confident we are in their product we only supply casks from those we’re willing to invest in ourselves.

Before the whisky is filled into casks rigorous quality control takes place – and once inside it is highly unusual for it to spoil, and any spirit quality issues are almost certainly due to a defective cask which can be isolated before blending or bottling. In rare cases where the maturing whisky is spoiled by a bad cask, we have an agreement that the distillery will replace it with one of similar age.

It depends on the cask size you’ve selected. Casks vary from barrels and hogsheads to butts, and the eventual number of bottles of course varies according to duration of maturation (evaporation known as the Angels’ Share) and desired Alcohol level! We’re happy to chat through the options with you.

This is personal choice – we can’t predict future demand but we only select whiskies of the highest quality ingredients and techniques and distilleries that show great future potential. We’re happy to discuss the options with you.

Older does usually mean more expensive when it comes to whisky, however age is more variable as an indicator of quality. As well as the premium ingredients, climate can play a huge role in maturation, meaning that in some cases a much younger expression can more than rival an older alternative. In recent years, some incredible youthful whiskies have set the market alight – we are happy to discuss the choices with you to ensure you make an informed decision.

Whisky Terminology

The Angels’ Share is the amount of distilled spirits lost to evaporation from the barrel or cask as the whiskey ages.

This is usual practice for Single Malts, and means they have been bottled at the natural alcoholic strength without dilution. This is often favoured by whisky purists and can give an additional taste experience from the cask strength malt.

To allow interaction between the spirit and the wood of the cask, the inside surfaces are burned (called charring). The more aggressive the amount of charring on the cask is the more interaction there will be, and the quicker the spirit matures and delivers flavour and colour. Usually this process is only done to American oak casks however sometimes old casks are re-charred to prolong their useful life.

The art of aging whisky in barrels while allowing the taste to develop inside (from the reaction between the wood and the spirit) is called Coopering. The art of Coopering is carried out by a highly-skilled crafts-person who both makes and repairs the casks used for maturing whisky. This is done by locking staves of wood together to make a watertight container.

An expression is a different version of whisky from a distillery, for example a different age, proof, cask type etc.

The term used when tasting whisky to describe the longevity of the flavours that linger in the mouth.

This is the process of ageing whisky. The length of maturation varies, but is usually from as little as 3 but up to 50 years, and can depend on the local climate (which can speed up the process in some cases). Casks are usually left for a lot longer than 3 years, generally until the master distiller deems them ready for bottling.

The freshly distilled spirit, clean in colour that is ready to fill the casks. High in strength (around 70% ABV), most distilleries dilute it to 63.5% ABV before transferring it to casks to mature.

The process of smelling the whisky to judge and identify the different aromas used to categorise it.

This is malt whisky that is the product of one distillation run and one individual cask from one distillery. Usually bottled at cask strength.

Single malt is from a single distillery, not blended with any other product from anywhere else and is made from 100% malted barley.

It is different to single grain whisky in that single grain can contain any type of cereal grain (but is still produced in only one distillery).

At Cask World we only offer the best of premium single malt.