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Issue 139 - Springbank: Buy The Cask

Whisky Magazine Issue 139
October 2016


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Springbank: Buy The Cask

Is it time to take the money and run?

Cask ownership schemes have been widely pilloried over the years. Criticisms range from accusations that they are poor investments compared with mature bottlings, suspicions that the distillery is just looking for operating cash, the rather obscure manner to which the contracts allude to the final costs payable, and the fact that most private individuals have little use for so much identical whisky. Back in Issue 120, we had a number of Springbank cask owners from the early 1990s contact us enquiring about the best option for disposing of their cask. Back then, casks at auction were frequently left unsold and a private deal with a broker or an independent bottler was your best bet. With aged stocks becoming harder for companies to acquire and brokers' prices climbing, the market for whole casks at auction has increased. The Springbank cask scheme closed around the Millennium. Mulberry Bank Auctions offered one in their August sale following the sale of a sister cask in Hong Kong. The hammer came down at £75,000 for the hogshead of Da Mhile Organic Springbank 1992, a resounding victory for all parties. Certainly, it
made a new house record for a whisky lot at Mulberry Bank, and I hope it will tempt a few more hopeful cask owners through the doors of the auction house.

Auction Watch

Bonhams, Hong Kong had a sensational auction in August with some colossal prices realised for both Scotch and Japanese whisky. A 29 bottle vertical of The Macallan 18 Years Old from 1958 – 19...

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