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Which Cask should I buy?

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Which Cask should I buy?

Postby cpt » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:38 pm

Hi whisky lovers.

Me and some friends would like to buy a cask of whisky that we will go and visit from time to time during its maturation, and then ofcourse bottle it and drink it once it's done. Anyways, I've seen 2 distilleries that have this "cask offer": Bruichladdich and Tullibardine. My questions to all of you here is:
1. Do you know of any other distilleries that has this offer?
2. Which distillery and what kind of barrel would YOU choose?


Me and my friends are not experts at whisky, taste and smell is ofcourse very important, but I would say the main reason for this is to have something together with your friends and to go and visit a friendly and nice distillery, who takes care of our barrel. maybe play some golf while we're in Scotland and so on so it should be a nice place as well.

Many thanks in advance!

//Carl
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:34 pm

A couple of things to think about:

1) I'd pick the Bruichladdich just on the strength of enjoying the visit--I always like going there, the folks are fun. And I suppose you could participate in the bottling, as they have their own bottling hall. I think Gordon (Spirit of Islay) could tell you more about this. ("I'd make a good Gordon, Gordon.") But Islay is a bit difficult and expensive to get to (Gordon can tell you about this, too, I think). Tullibardine would be more accessible--a short hop on SAS to Edinburgh and an hour's drive or so, with the advantage of basing yourself in Edinburgh and having plenty else to do (like hang out in the Bow Bar!).

2) The number one concern I'd have would be getting a good barrel. You are taking a risk when you do this--there is no guarantee your whisky will be really good--so you want to do what you can to stack the odds in your favor. Talk to both of them about this, and see how responsive they are. I'd bet the 'Laddie folks would be very helpful; I don't know Tullibardine at all, so couldn't guess.
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Postby Wave » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:03 pm

If it were me I'd go with the Bruichladdich, not only can you buy a cask you can help make the spirit too!
If I were younger I'd have no qualms, at my age now I wonder if I'd still have all me marbles left by the time it matured. :lol:

Your Own Cask
You can specify how long the spirit is aged, thereby influencing the final style and value of the malt. The whisky can be either sold or bottled naturally at your preferred strength thus preserving it's individuality. (That's the part I like!)

Your Own Style
The casks are filled with Bruichladdich new spirit, which uses malted barley at a low peat rating of 3ppm of phenols.

Your Own Distillation
Join our whisky academy, learn all there is to know about distilling under the tutelage of Master Distiller Jim McEwan and obtain hands on experience of the distilling process 'as it used to be', in this residential week long course. Help in the distillation of your very own.


But Islay is a bit difficult and expensive to get to


Huh? It's not difficult or expensive. A 20 minute flight from Glasgow for a 100 quid or a pleasant drive to Kennacraig to catch the ferry to Port Ellen and on the way as you pass through Inverary you can stop and oogle at the Loch Fyne Whisky shop. For the lesser beaten path you can drive to Ardrossan and catch the ferry for Brodick (Isle of Arran), drive up to Lochranza to catch the ferry to Claonaig and then cut straight across Campletown as the road goes directly to Kennacraig (I've done all 3 routes!). If you want to go on the cheap stick with buying just bottles.

...and from Illinois no less! :lol: :lol: :lol:



Cheers!
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Postby Bullie » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:13 pm

Arran is another distillery selling casks. And they got some really nice bottlings out now. So, I'd say that they've got potential to deliver some nice spirit as well... :)

But to be honest, I'd go for the Bruichladdie-cask, just as the others above.

Then what cask to choose? Well, if you can afford a sherry hog, I'd go for that. A refill one, to lessen the impact of the wood.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:47 pm

Wave wrote:Huh? It's not difficult or expensive. A 20 minute flight from Glasgow for a 100 quid or a pleasant drive to Kennacraig to catch the ferry to Port Ellen and on the way as you pass through Inverary you can stop and oogle at the Loch Fyne Whisky shop. For the lesser beaten path you can drive to Ardrossan and catch the ferry for Brodick (Isle of Arran), drive up to Lochranza to catch the ferry to Claonaig and then cut straight across Campletown as the road goes directly to Kennacraig (I've done all 3 routes!).


Sorry, no matter how you cut it, £100 for a 20-minute flight is not cheap. Dougie in Glasgow can take the whole family to Spain on Ryanair for less. Making connections from Sweden may not be the easiest thing, either. And driving, whether via Inveraray or Arran, is circuitous and time-consuming, and the ferries are not cheap, either. You really do have to want to get to Islay. Is it worth it? Well, I've done it four times, and will again in three weeks (out via Arran, back via Inveraray), so you know what I think. My only point is that the added time and expense might be a consideration for a group of lads in Sweden who want to visit their cask occasionally. I agree that Bruichladdich is the top choice here, for lots of reasons, but these fellows need to make up their own minds, and should have all the facts.

Not to be argumentative, Wave--your point of view is as good as mine! 8)
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Postby kildalton » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:02 pm

talking about Islay You might consider this as well :
http://www.kilchomandistillery.com/cask.asp

It looks interesting
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Postby Wave » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:11 pm

Buying a cask in the 1st place is not cheap (it's not just the cask but the bottling, storage, duty, VAT, etc.) and it is extremely time consuming no matter which distillery you choose. You can however get past the time consumption by buying a cask already matured though the price would be much higher. I've heard of people selling their casks back to Bruichladdich as I'm sure from other distilleries that offer the sale of casks to the general public which could probably be rebought or you could go with something a bit more aged (and pay out the nose!) for a cask from Duncan Taylor & CO.
http://www.scotchcasks.com/casks.htm

BTW, that Kilchoman cask offer is very interesting.
A typical ‘Islay’ style with peating levels of between 30 and 50 ppm of phenols.
Fresh / Refill Bourbon Barrels – 125 litres of alcohol (approx) £995.00

Check out the pdf, it has a pic of the stillroom .....and I thought Arran was small!


Cheers!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:47 pm

The redoubtable Mr Thomson (I have doubted him many times indeed) is pleased to show you just how small.

Image

We had heard that Kilchoman had cut off cask sales, as they wanted to be able to actually bottle something in ten years' time. Investing in a cask from a small start-up seems particularly risky, in terms of both the distillery's long-term prospects, and the unknown quality of the malt. But it's all for fun, isn't it?
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Postby cpt » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:25 pm

Thanks everyone for your very helpful answers, which makes me lean towards the Bruichladdich. Also noticed Kilchoman after some research earlier today as well as "Bladnoch" (http://www.bladnoch.co.uk) if anyone have an impression of their whisky.

Bullie thinks I should go for the sherry hog.. I don't know? what's the difference between a sherry and bourbon (and whatever other types you might use)? should I go for fresh or refilling or whatever you call it? Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions but I'm really new at this but still, since it's alot of money, I want to know that I'm spending money on something we would really enjoy to the fullest.

//Carl
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:02 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
I'd pick the Bruichladdich just on the strength of enjoying the visit--I always like going there, the folks are fun. And I suppose you could participate in the bottling, as they have their own bottling hall. I think Gordon (Spirit of Islay) could tell you more about this. ("I'd make a good Gordon, Gordon.") But Islay is a bit difficult and expensive to get to (Gordon can tell you about this, too, I think). Tullibardine would be more accessible--a short hop on SAS to Edinburgh and an hour's drive or so, with the advantage of basing yourself in Edinburgh and having plenty else to do (like hang out in the Bow Bar!).



that's twice i got mentioned in a posting here and didn't get called in either ! :lol:
I can't elaborate anymore on what's already been stated , it's just a shame that Laddie stopped selling the Port Charlotte but i would still go for a Bourbon casked Laddie over a Tullibardine . I believe Kilchoman are taking orders for next years fillings but an untried spirit is a gamble , saying that the PC was a gamble and it paid off (so far!) .
Raymond used to only sell the peated Bladnoch but now he sells the standard Bladnoch which going off what i've tried has a decent future , it all really depends what you want , what you like (a cask of Ardbeg please if you reading this LVMH ...... :lol: ) .
Regarding cask type , A fresh sherry cask can be a bit over-powering sometimes , i think i timed the bloodtub just right , i personally prefer bourbon (the first cask i took shares in ) but i've also got shares in a refill Sherry (possibly 1st or 2nd refill ) and it will be a bit more subtle on the PC .
I posted all my experiences with my bloodtub on my site , click on the banner below then look under Bruichladdich , it's expensive but by god it's worth it when you get them lovely bottles in your hands , especially when it turns out so good !
As Mr TH says it's great to visit Bruichladdich , your made so welcome , you can visit your cask on a monday or thursday , get a wee sample and talk to soome very knowledgable people . They look after your cask very well .
Regarding getting to Islay , i believe the prices to fly in have dropped , the number of flights have definitely went up incl sunday flights now .
Does Easyjet (or one of the other budget airlines ) not fly from Sweden to Prestwick ? It's just a short train journey from Prestwick to Glasgow Airport (or a short drive to Ardrossan to do the ferry crossings the Wave way ) .
We always drive to Kennacraig to catch the ferry (256 miles from front door to terminal) usually overnight , it's amazing what wildlife you see travelling overnight (the fighting Glaswegian female types on holiday in Inveraray at about Midnight are very interesting.........) .

Slainte
Gordon
Last edited by Spirit of Islay on Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Wave » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:24 pm

Several years ago Bruichladdich had 3 or 4 different casks to choose from including a 1st-fill sherry & re-fill sherry but I think only a 1st fill bourbon cask is offered now. Tullibardine only mentioned sizes but I think all of theirs are also bourbon casks as was with Kilchoman with 1 other variation with a re-fill bourbon cask (has been used at least once to age scotch).

A nice page about whisky casks is here >>>
http://www.thewhiskystore.de/experts/fassmake.htm

Actually I think your choice should be which whisky you and your friends like. Get a bottle of each 10yr old Bruichladdich, a 10yr old Tullibardine, a Bladnoch and an Arran (Kilchoman is still in the spirit stage and has yet to be released) and give them the taste test. Try before you buy!


Cheers!
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:41 pm

The distilleries that I know of that offer cask sales are Bruichladdich (and variants), Springbank, Arran, Kilchoman, Tullibardine and Bladnoch. They offer a limted amount of casks each year for the cask program which is why, for example, Kilchoman has stopped for this year since thet've sold the entire allotment. I would also have to agree with those who have said there is some risk involved.

I own a part share in a cask from each of Tullibardine(which is coming along nicely), Isle of Arran (already six years old when we bought it) and Bruichladdich Port Charlotte.

After the money changes hands all you have to do is wait and wait and wait.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:45 pm

I think a bourbon cask is safer, unless you know you want sherry. Just make sure it isn't a third or fourth fill.
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Postby Ize » Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:40 pm

I took away my questions about participating in cask buying since discussion in this thread died immediately after that. I will not intrude myself into any cask buying group!

Please, let the discussion fly forward in this thread.
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