Whisky Magazine Issue 21
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Dave Broom takes you through the possible pitfalls, the complications and the cons of many a whisky lover's dream- buying a cask
At one time, most distilleries offered private customers the chance to own a cask of whisky. It was a link with whisky's origins as a spirit made by farmers for their local communities. These days the private casks may be few and far between, but there is still considerable demand. Let's face it, owning your own cask of whisky gives you a lovely fuzzy warm feeling. No surprise then that Whisky Magazine regularly gets letters asking ‘how can I buy a cask?' Well, the answer is, with a very few exceptions, you can't. Distillers have either stopped the practise because of the huge amount of paperwork or been scared off by the activities of fraudsters in the late 1990s.
One of the few firms to continue with the practise is Bruichladdich, but even it is stopping the offer next year (full details on www.bruichladdich.com). The La Résérve-Murray McDavid team have years of experience and impeccable credentials as brokers, at one stage selling casks of Macallan, Glenfarclas, Ardbeg and Springbank. “We were virtually the only ones selling to private individuals in the early 90s,” recalls Simon Coughlin. “We've done the same with Bruichladdich, allowing people to be part of this inaugural year. We won't be doing it again this year (2002) because frankly we'll need all the stock.”
Isle of Arran saw cask investment as a way of generating much-needed cash in its early days, though new MD Andrew Kettles has little time for the notion. “I'm not an advocate of firms selling to...