Purchasing a whole cask of whisky is not a decision to be taken lightly. We aim to make the process as simple and as transparent as possible, to ensure both our sellers and buyers are protected throughout, to provide as much relevant information as possible, and to offer clarity on the ‘hidden costs’ of purchasing whisky.
Our team offers free consultation for all sellers and buyers, to find a solution that best fits their requirements. Among them, our team of experts have sat on tasting panels for, and advised, top names in whisky, such as the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the Waldorf Astoria, the Peninsula Shanghai and The Scotch Whisky Experience.
Although – regrettably – providing a sample to all auction bidders is a logistical challenge we have yet to overcome, each cask in our auction is sampled and reviewed (whenever possible) by our in-house experts, and we aim to get at least one opinion from a third party unconnected to Cask 88. On occasion, samples of the casks are not available, and on these occasions, we will make it clear that this is the case.
All casks have been submitted to the auction by private owners. Each lot undergoes a verification process to confirm proof of ownership, recent cask information and history. All casks over five years of age must have been regauged within the last two years to be considered for the auction.
New cask samples are drawn and reviewed by the Cask 88 in-house team before each cask is listed: Honest opinions are encouraged; We understand that taste is subjective, but by putting every sample to a panel of candid tasters, we hope to give you the information you need to know if a particular whisky is for you.
Potential bidders will need to register a free account before they can view active auctions and receive authorisation to bid.
We are diligent and thorough on both sides of the cask purchase process, and this is why we charge sellers and buyers the same fee: 10% of the hammer price (plus a £100 verification fee for sellers, refundable from commission owed if the cask sells).
We provide as much information as possible about the casks we list in auction, including date and details of latest regauge, distillation dates, cask types, distillery information, etc. We provide photos of the cask wherever possible, though sometimes restrictions in individual warehouses will prevent us from offering a photograph of the cask itself. We provide photographs of sample bottles in front of a white background to offer transparency on the natural colour the spirit has taken from the wood; all cask samples are non-chill-filtered and have no colouring added, but may include sediment from the cask.
The final hammer price includes the cost of the cask and the first three years of storage. After the three years of free storage, the cost is £65 per year (free includes both storage and insurance) if the buyer wishes to keep storage in our warehouse. Otherwise, the buyer is free to move the cask to a warehouse of their choosing.
All other costs related to storage, removal from bond, insurance, regauging, sample withdrawal, transportation and bottling will be the sole responsibility of the buyer. This includes VAT and any UK excise duty.
Ultimately, if you do not intend to bottle your cask, but to sell in a few years, the additional cost will be relatively small.
If you intend to bottle and export your own brand of whisky, the additional costs can be complicated and can vary depending on the location of the buyer, so we encourage you to be in touch to discuss your specifics. Be aware also that Scotch whisky is an internationally protected category, and export laws are strict.
Additional Factors to be Aware of
It is important to note that brands in the Scottish whisky industry are quite rightly protective of their brand, and not every distillery will be content with their name being used on the label of an independent bottling. We have a good understanding of the Scottish whisky landscape, strong relationships with individual brands, and are therefore well placed to guide and advise you throughout the bottling process to the satisfaction of all relevant parties.
Cask 88 are here to support clients throughout the process, advise on costs and to help facilitate any actions relevant to cask ownership. This is an exciting journey that we look forward to supporting you through.
We appreciate that purchasing a cask of whisky can be a big step, with many unknowns. That’s why we’re here to help. If you have any queries you don’t feel we have addressed, please don’t hesitate to be in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org, Miriam Rune (Cask 88 Online Auctions Curator)