Women in Whisky – Lauren Mustard, William Grant & Sons

Women in Whisky – Lauren Mustard, William Grant & Sons

Lauren Mustard

As we continue on our Women in Whisky journey, this week we spoke to VIP Ambassador Lauren Mustard. With over 12 years in the industry and a background in working for the legendary Spirit of Speyside Festival, we were keen to find out what fills her dram…

Where are you from originally?

Speyside, a small place in the country called Mosstowie.

What is your current role/ title/ company you work for? 

Dufftown Distilleries & VIP Ambassador, William Grant & Sons.

How many years in the industry? How did you get started?

12 years now. I started out as a tour guide at Glenfiddich when I turned 18 and did many summer seasons whilst I was at university. I went on to work at Macallan for a few months before starting the International Brand Ambassador graduate programme with Chivas Brothers, based in London. That took me back to Speyside in 2017 and on to working for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Now I’m back where it all began!

Do you have any female mentors that helped you on the way?

I would say many! Ann Miller in particular.

Have you noticed more women drinking whisky in general (maybe amongst your friends for example)?

Yes I think so. More than when I first started working in whisky!

What is your desert island dram?

Balvenie DoubleWood 17.

What is your favourite whisky under £40 per bottle?

Can I choose Glenfiddich 15? It’s a little over £40 but can be found for under £40 sometimes!

What is your favourite whisky, money no object?

That’s a tricky one… Can we say availability no object too? The Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix would be my choice

Do you gravitate towards whiskies aged in certain casks?

Hmm I thought I did but over the last few years I’ve found myself on a more level playing field when it comes to that. Some whiskies have taken me by surprise – some pleasantly and some not so! 

Looking into your crystal ball where do you see Scotch whisky in 5/10 years?

Continued experimentation and innovation with both whisky and whisky-related experiences. Looking after the advocates we already have and capturing those that are yet to venture into the world of whisky! We are all ambassadors for Scotch whisky and the community is one of the best things about it. I hope that continues to grow and develop. 

Any advice for women wanting to start out and forge a career in Scotch whisky?

Firstly, go for it. Secondly, reach out to others. I’m sure I speak on behalf of many other women in the industry when I say we’d be happy to help where we can and would be delighted to offer advice!

At Cask Trade our female Masters all certainly know their way around a whisky cask. If you want to find out more about adding whisky to your investment portfolio, get in touch and let’s talk whisky!

Casks vs Bottles – An Investor’s Guide by Phil Huckle

Casks vs Bottles – An Investor’s Guide by Phil Huckle

Whilst it is clear that markets are currently very turbulent, even if this was not the case I would still write the same article about Whisky Cask Investment and how this Alternative Asset compares to investing in Whisky Bottles and other Physical Assets.

The private purchase of Whisky Casks is an activity almost as old as the act of distilling the Amber Nectar itself, although the opportunity for Investors to be involved in this market is quite a modern phenomenon. There are many reasons for this, chiefly the increase in the availability of Single Malt Scotch in the 1980s and the continued growth in popularity of whisky as a hobby from the beginning of the 21st century.

It was around this time that a small number of whisky enthusiasts started to collect rare bottles and this market continues to grow to this very day – as evidenced by the increasing number of Whisky Auction Sites and the frequency of their sales. Despite the rarity of collectible bottles it is a relatively simple market to enter through visiting a specialist store, buying through an auction or from a private owner, or through one of the ballots held for rare bottlings on launch day. Buying whisky casks can be a little more difficult – and it is highly advisable that you deal with a reputable company in this sector – but this can offer many advantages to the Investor looking for medium and long-term growth compared to bottles and other alternative assets.

Whisky pouring

Firstly, let us consider Bottle Investment. Given the growing global interest in Single Malt Whisky there remain many shrewd investments to be made and the growth and profitability in this area show no sign of slowing down, but this does not automatically make a collection of rare bottles your best investment. Importantly, the liquid in a bottle does not continue to age and mature, so a 12-year-old bottle of whisky will always be a 12-year-old bottle of whisky and will only increase in value if the supply of said whisky reduces either due to being discontinued or a limited edition bottling. Many investors are also faced with time, financial, and logistical challenges such as associated auction fees, transportation costs, and the necessary storage space. The majority of investors simply don’t have the time or space either in the home or their office to lose a room for their bottle collection and to handle the administration of tracking, packing, and sending bottles – especially when serious collections can easily run to hundreds or even thousands of bottles.

Whisky Casks make for a much simpler investment, with the liquid often purchased at a much younger age and at a much cheaper price than whisky which has fully matured. In some cases, it is even purchased as a new-make spirit! Whisky tends to sell best at the ‘Milestone Ages’ of 12, 15, 18, 21, and 25 years old, and it is wise to factor this into your exit strategy when choosing your investment. A shorter-term investment for example could involve holding a 9-year-old cask until it is 12 or 15 years old, with the whisky maturing in the cask and appreciating in value during this time. I am yet to find a distillery that sells its 18-year-old Single Malt for less than their 12-year-old Single Malt(!) and the same principle applies with casks. The cask itself must be kept in a bonded warehouse in Scotland, meaning the investor does not need to find space to store it themselves.

Casks stacked

I believe it is important at this point to give a quick overview of the global Whisky market. Within Scotch Whisky the two main types sold are Blended Whisky (dominating the market at 80-85% of all Scotch consumed) which comprises many different Malts and (mostly) Grain Whisky. Single Malt Whisky, usually of higher quality and more expensive, accounts for a much smaller but rapidly growing section of the market and is expected to continue increasing its market share. Traditionally strongest in Western European Countries and North America, in recent years it has been shown that as a Whisky market matures their consumers are keen to broaden their pallets beyond famous blends such as Johnnie Walker and Chivas Brothers and explore Single Malt. This is particularly evident in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and, more recently, China.

casks outside

In fact, market trends indicate that in more and more countries consumers are turning not just to Single Malt Whisky but in particular to older, rarer whiskies. This has naturally caused a shortage of old casks as stocks of high-quality Single Malt have depleted, creating an opportunity for investors who will find their older casks will be very much more in demand. Within traditional markets, there has been a surge in the number of whisky enthusiasts who seek out even rarer ‘Single Cask’ Bottlings (usually only a few hundred bottles produced) which in turn has led to a boom in the number of Independent Bottlers meeting this demand with over 1500 of them now operating worldwide. This is before one even considers the future demand in growth markets such as India, where most Indian consumers are priced out of the Scotch Whisky market by extortionate import taxes of around 150%!

The UK Government is in active trade discussions with India to get this tariff reduced as part of a wider Trade Deal and an increase in whisky drinkers amongst a population of 1.4 billion people is an exciting prospect for distilleries and cask investors alike. Indeed, there is a strong argument for taking a position in this market now before the increase in demand is made a reality by a future trade deal.

Although stock markets and property still dominate conventional investment strategies, at a time when the global economy continues to look shaky with continued uncertainty about post-pandemic economic recovery and geopolitical instability, I believe diversifying a percentage of your portfolio into whisky casks which are one of the only assets to appreciate in a linear fashion is a very, very savvy move.

To find out more about how Whisky Cask Investment can work for you, contact The Masters today!

Breaking News: Cask Trade Opens In Asia

Breaking News: Cask Trade Opens In Asia


We are delighted to announce Cask Trade Ltd has opened an office in Hong Kong servicing the whole of Asia.

We have seen an increasing demand for cask whisky from the East. Cask Trade are very excited to showcase our unmatched inventory to our existing and new clients in Asia.

For the first time, bottlers, investors and avid whisky enthusiasts in Asia will be able to buy casks at UK prices. The prices are significantly lower than anyone has been used to, and with the same seamless service afforded to hundreds of our UK investors and bottlers.

Director of Cask Trade HK, Sir Colin Hampden-White, says: “For many years I have had the pleasure of helping customers from all over Asia who appreciate cask strength whisky to taste and purchase,” says Hampden-White who is a Keeper of the Quaich, who adds: “I’m very excited Cask Trade is opening an office in Hong Kong. I can personally host tastings and be a part of our customer’s journey in selecting and buying cask whisky.”

Cask Trade Hong Kong Office

Masters of whisky appreciation
Managing Director of Cask Trade, Simon Aron, says the opportunity for growth in Asia is unprecedented. We have seen a 25% increase of our existing business in Asia already. We expect to see further increase of a minimum of 25% in sales for the entire business. This is achieved by having a physical presence in the region.
“By opening in Hong Kong, we are addressing a demand from existing and potential customers throughout Asia. We’re offering direct access to casks for whatever purpose, at competitive UK prices with complete transparency and a seamless service.” Says Aron, who adds: “Our company is all about an authentic marketplace for buying and selling casks of whisky. We have multiple exit strategies, including our online auction for casks. Auctionyourcask.com. We want to supply all bottlers, investors and of course, whisky lovers! I think the Asian market will be both surprised and delighted with our competitive prices.”

The new office based in the Admiralty District of Hong Kong will be headed up by John Wong.

John is a self-confessed whisky geek. He says, whilst the whisky scene is relatively new in the region, the level of expertise, passion and enthusiasm’s remarkable.

Drinkers from Greater China and Asia-Pacific are always seeking a diverse range of taste and flavour profiles in whisky. They look for rarity and investment opportunities with stories behind the liquid. With me on the ground in Hong Kong, I can immerse myself into the whisky community. There is nothing better than meeting face to face with a dram in your hand.” Says Wong, who explains the demand isn’t just coming from Hong Kong. “The East Asian market is unique. Our highly skilled and educated customers like to discuss whisky and learn from each other. It’s so much more than just buying and selling. We are embarking on a journey together.”

John Wong, Sales Director for HK

Whisky investment done properly

We are proud to own one of the largest and varied stock lists anywhere in the world. Our team sample, taste, health check every cask and only sell stock that we own. We hold all our own insurances and licenses and are not affiliated to any third party. Cask Trade HK enjoys all of the relevant licenses direct with the UK. This includes all of the UK HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) licenses required to trade, store and bottle whisky (WOWGR, AWRS and Duty Representative).

With our new business in Hong Kong we are looking to build a reputation as the go-to cask company in Asia. The aim is to mirror what we have achieved in the UK.

Whisky on the rise in Asia
According to the Euromonitor report, by 2022 the value of whisky sales in China is expected to reach £2.2 billion (approx). This is 38.6% more than in 2018 and the volume of whisky sales is to reach 23.65 billion litres.

Direct exports increased from around £1.4 million in 2000 to around £89 million in 2019. This resulted in reaching an annual growth rate of over 24% (CAGR 2000-2019). Around 25 bottles of Scotch whisky are exported to China every minute.

We encourage our Asian customers to follow us on WeChat. Stay up-to-date with our Hong Kong activities.

Water of Life, by the Water – Josh’s Whisky Wanderings

Water of Life, by the Water – Josh’s Whisky Wanderings


Josh exploring Scottish distilleries

I’m not sure Hemingway ever actually said ‘Write Drunk, Edit Sober’, but I must confess most of my (strictly amateur) fiction writing has been its strongest when inspired by a strong dram. I think it was inevitable that when I organised my first ‘Writing Week’ in 2017 (now an annual event) that the words would flow as the whisky flowed – and that I’d save rereading anything back until armed with a coffee the next morning.

My first trip grew out of a desire to see if I could write a book, rather than just loudly proclaiming after a few whiskies that I wanted to write a book. I wanted to find somewhere completely separate to my daily life in South-East England, but still somewhere I could speak the language, with a nice writing desk with a view of some water, and ideally a host sympathetic to me enjoying a cigar or two whilst typing away. Needless to say, there weren’t many places that offered it all!

Views from the Air B&B

Sometimes, though, the stories of our lives have a funny way of writing themselves, and so it was that I found the B&B in Aberdour, Fife, that would become my annual base, hosted by Celia who quickly became a lifelong friend. I started each day with a walk around the water, had a large breakfast, and usually lit my first cigar around 9:30 am. I’d write solidly throughout, working the same hours on my passion project that I worked on my career back in London, pausing occasionally to appreciate the crashing of the waves or to see if the weather was allowing me to see Edinburgh across the water (30 minutes by train) or restricting my vision to the end of the garden – usually both several times each day.

Johnnie Walker

I’d start pouring Whisky straight after lunch and usually wrote most in the afternoons – a dram at 2 pm, another at 6 pm, and a double after dinner, was usually my rule. My first year I bought a bottle of Glen Scotia Double Wood and used it to complete the first draft of my first novella, in 2018 a bottle of Johnnie Walker 18 helped me write a small collection of short stories, and in 2019 I wrote my second novella with a bottle of Dalmore Cigar Malt. I switched the Whisky up a bit in 2020 (writing the first four episodes of my first Sitcom) and 2021 (back to short stories) and took an array of miniatures and sample bottles filled with different drams for each day.

Perhaps reflective of my good fortune to move into the Whisky Industry in my Professional Life this last trip certainly featured the most impressive liquid.  From my case of miniatures the highlight was undoubtedly a Sherried Springbank from 1992 (my birth year!) – a very kind gift from Sir Colin Hampden-White, which I paired with a special cigar gifted to me by Simon. It seemed fitting as Springbank is his favourite distillery!

Josh's trip staples

Usually on these trips I scarcely look up from my writing desk, but with Celia selling up and retiring I knew this would be my last time in Aberdour and added on a couple of days to try to explore a little more of Scotland. On the Friday I ventured into Edinburgh and very quickly broke my ‘no new Whisky bottles until after moving house’ rule (I blame Cadenheads…) so felt it was safer to dive into Sandy Bells and start buying by the Dram again. I was blown away by a Single Cask Aberfeldy but the real star of the show was the Port Charlotte Valinch which I can still taste now and frankly haven’t shut up about since!

On the Saturday I visited my friend Colin Campbell, who took me to my first Whisky show some years ago and who ultimately is responsible for turning my interest in Whisky into a fully-fledged lifelong passion. Colin and I haven’t seen each other since he moved back to Scotland last year so there was much catching up to do, and naturally a visit to Deanston Distillery was essential! We had an incredible time in the Warehouse 4 Tasting Experience, and my favourite Whisky was actually the first one we tried – a 2013 Refill Bourbon Barrel. It was lovely to find this often overlooked Cask Type being allowed to sing and really let the character of the distillery shine through.

Deanston Distillery

Once again I broke my ‘no more bottles’ rule in the gift shop (oops), although I suppose now everybody knows my enthusiasm for the Deanston Barrels on our stocklist is coming from first-hand experience! Colin and I later made a list of all the distilleries we want to visit in Scotland (basically, a list of all the distilleries in Scotland and a few we’re going to try to save by inventing time-travel) and once I was back to Aberdour and savouring my last view of the water I thought not only of all the time I’ve enjoyed North of the Boarder, but of how many visits I no doubt still have to come.

I don’t think I can ever really say goodbye to Aberdour or to Scotland, rather I repeat myself (as I’m prone to doing) ‘That’s me away the noo…’

Enjoying a dram

To find out more about investing in Whisky Casks and to speak to the Masters themselves, contact the Team today!

Tullibardine Distillery Focus

Tullibardine Distillery Focus


Located just north of Scotland’s Central Belt on the road to Perth is the Tullibardine Distillery. Opened post-war in 1949 it was built to make fillings for various blends and had an unremarkable first 40 years. In 1994 it was unfortunately mothballed until 2003. It was then under new ownership that the focus shifted to releasing Single Malt expressions. The new owners discovered that the cask policy that had occurred previously left a lot to be desired with mainly tired old casks. After an extensive re-casking operation Tullibardine was back in business.

Since 2006 numerous cask finish expressions have been released using Port, Marsala, Sauternes, Madeira, Moscatel, Burgundy as well as Sherry. Interestingly a vintage series was also released which included a 40-year and a very rare 60-year expression. The bottle repackaging also looks fantastic which has only added to the credibility of the distillery. For the liquid they produce about three million litres per year with a 55 hour fermentation time. The style is generally quite sweet and floral, arguably more reminiscent of a gentle Speyside rather than a big bold and spicy highlander. The excellent news for investors is that it is remarkably good value still. Certainly worth adding to any portfolio.

Fact File

Name: Tullibardine 

Founded: 1949 

Region: Highlands 

Owner: Terrior Distillers  

Capacity: 3m litres 

Stills: 4 

Fermentation: 55-60 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon, sherry, wine and madeira. 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: 2018 IWSC Gold medal for 225 Sauternes Finish, Silver Medal for 228 Burgundy Finish. 

Independent bottlings: Around 600 

Core Range: Sovereign NAS, 15, 20, 25. 

We have had our entire 2021 stock allocation, so when it comes to Tullibardine you know we mean whisky business…!

We have a range of 2014, 2015, and some Old & Rare 1993 Tullibardine casks on our current stock list. To find out more about investing in Tullibardine Whisky, contact The Masters today!

Women In Whisky – Dawn Davies, The Whisky Exchange

Women In Whisky – Dawn Davies, The Whisky Exchange

Dawn Davies

With over two decades working in the drinks industry under her belt, Dawn Davies certainly knows her alcohol and the way around a whisky cask. The Head Buyer at The Whisky Exchange, Master of Wine and all-around drinks guru sits down with us to talk about a subject close to her heart…

Where are you from originally?

The UK, although I grew up in the States.

 Current role / title / company you work for?

Head Buyer for Speciality Drinks/ The Whisky Exchange

 How many years in the industry / how did you get started?

 20 years and counting. I started out in restaurants as a waitress and a sommelier, working for Zuma, Gordon Ramsay, The Square, and the Ledbury. This was before joining Selfridges as their head wine and spirits buyer. Nine years later, I joined Speciality Drinks.

 Did you have any female mentors that helped you along the way? 
Absolutely – the first person who gave me a chance with wine was Nobuko Okamura. She took me under her wing and taught me so much.  Since that time, I have been fortunate enough to know so many inspiring women who have had faith in me. From Angela Hartnett to Helena Hell and many more.

 Have you noticed more women drinking whisky in recent years?

 Yes, I see it most at Whisky Show where the demographic is slowly changing and becoming more female which is fantastic to see!

 Your desert island dram? 

 Can it be a rum 😉 Clairin Sajous!

 Your favourite whisky at under £40 per bottle?

I am loving everything coming out of Loch Lomond at the moment, just for easy drinking fruitiness. 

 Favourite money no object whisky? 

Half of the whiskies in Sukhinders collection 😉

 Best distillery trip you’ve ever been on and why? 

I was lucky enough to go on the malts advocate trip with Diageo years ago with Dave Broom. He has very much been my whisky guru and has graciously, over the years, answered all my stupid questions. Traveling with him round all the distilleries was amazing.  The highlight however had to be fresh oysters from the bay drizzled with Talisker 10 at the distillery itself.

 If there is one thing you could change in the industry what would that be? 

More diversity in top roles in the industry. We are changing but far too slowly…

 What have been the major challenges in your career and what advice would you give to any young women starting out? 
This industry can and will take over your life. I have had to work insanely hard to get to where I am today, but I have been very lucky to have fallen on my feet career-wise. Work hard and be yourself.  Don’t be afraid to be strong and speak your mind. You will have to work harder and be more aggressive than your male counterparts at times but there are plenty of amazing women and men who will have your back.

Looking into your crystal ball where do you see the Scotch whisky industry in five to 10 years’ time? 

The Scotch Whisky industry is going to face some stiff competition from all these new whiskies from all over the world. It cannot rest on its laurels, it must talk to younger consumers but not dumb down its liquid.

At Cask Trade our female Masters all certainly know their way around a whisky cask. If you want to find out more about adding whisky to your investment portfolio, get in touch and let’s talk whisky!

Glen Moray Distillery Focus

Glen Moray Distillery Focus



Exciting times at the Glen Moray (pronounced mur-ree) distillery. Formerly a brewery that in 1897 was converted into a distillery to take advantage of the late Victorian whisky boom, Glen Moray Distillery is located in Speyside just outside the town of Elgin, and production has reached a very healthy 5.5 million litres per year and a fermentation time of 60 hours.

Today most of the production goes into the million-plus case brand Label 5 which is very popular in the world’s largest Scotch whisky market – France. However, since 1999 sales of the Single Malt have been steadily increasing with a whole host of interesting distillery bottlings being released.

In more recent times a number of cask finishes have come onto the market with port, Madeira, Chenin Blanc, Rhum Agricole, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy and of course a Sherry cask finish as well. In 2015 they released a very well-received peaty version. This exciting innovation has certainly driven sales and reputation and is another distillery that is moving up the ranks…

Since Glen Moray has long been maturing whisky in an unusually wide selection of casks, we are now starting to see these surprising finishes coming into their own. We have 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2014 barrels & hogsheads on our current stock list. We’re always happy to talk whisky, so why not start your investment journey with Cask Trade and Glen Moray today?

Fact File 

Name: Glen Moray 

Founded: 1876 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: La Martiniquaise 

Capacity: 5.7m litres 

Stills: 9 

Fermentation: Varied 65 to 106 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: 99% Unpeated, 1% peated 

Casks Used: Bourbon, Sherry and numerous finishes including wine, rum, port, madeira  

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: 2021 World Whisky Awards – Bronze Medal for 21yr Port Wood Finish – Silver Medal for Burgundy Cask Finish. 

Independent bottlings: Around 1200 

Core Range: Classic NAS, Port Finish NAS, Chardonnay Finish NAS, Sherry NAS, Peated NAS, 10, 12, 15, 18. 

 To find out more about investing in Glen Moray casks, contact The Masters today!

To view our Glen Moray Virtual Distillery Tour, click here.

Glenrothes Distillery Focus

Glenrothes Distillery Focus

From a personal point of view we’ve always liked Glenrothes Distillery. Phil Huckle our Brand Exec used to host a few tasting at Berry Bros (the previous owners from 2010 to 2017) and got to sample quite a bit of the range. It was around this time that they started releasing many different special editions. It was clear that this was a very versatile whisky that prospered in a whole range of different casks and at different ages. Phil even remembers tasting a peated cask which was very impressive. In more recent times though the brand has been sold back to previous owners the Edrington Group. They have since continued investing in the promotion of the Single Malt bottlings side of the operation. 

The distillery itself has a very familiar history in the fact that it was born in 1878 in the late Victorian boom-time years. The whisky was considered excellent fillings for blends and to this day is a key part of both the famous Cutty Sark & Famous Grouse blends. Today they are producing about four million litres of spirit with 44 mashes per week. Interestingly they also have a cooperage on-site where they repair many casks for the distillery and the Edrington Group in general. This is a very complex classic Speyside malt which ages very well. It is medium-bodied with lots of rich nutty spicy notes.

From an investor point of view, this distillery is already established as a growing Single Malt. It certainly doesn’t hurt that its two sister distilleries are Highland Park and The Macallan and we see the value of Glenrothes just continuing to rise.

Independent bottlers will snap this malt up and the fact that two years ago a 50-year-old expression was released (£25,000 per bottle!) shows it ages well and there is a versatile exit strategy. They also age the bulk of their whisky in the increasingly rarer sherry casks which are also in demand. To conclude, this is a very investible distillery which could easily join the blue riband club of its two famous sisters. A valuable addition to any portfolio.

Fact File

Name: Glenrothes 

Founded: 1878 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: Edrington 

Capacity: 5.6m litres 

Stills: 10 

Fermentation: 58 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon & sherry 

Current Sales: 600,000 bottles / 50,000 9l cases. 

Recent significant awards: Nothing entered recently. 

Independent bottlings: Around 1500 

Core Range: 10, 12, Whisky Makers Cut, 18, 25.  

We currently have a range of  Glenrothes Hogsheads on our current stock list. To find out more about investing in Glenrothes casks, contact The Masters today!

Irish Grain Whiskey – The Emerald Isles’ Secret Gem

Irish Grain Whiskey – The Emerald Isles’ Secret Gem

Irish Grain Whiskey is generally great quality and delicious. Why then is such a fantastic spirit managing to slip underneath the radar? Certainly Irish whiskey is undergoing a renaissance right now. Very soon the number of distilleries will rise from 13 to 35. In 1987, there were only four when the Cooley distillery opened its doors for the first time. The interest in Irish Pot Still and Blended whiskey is reaching stratospheric proportions. Quite rightly winning plaudits left right and centre. Partly thanks to our American cousins, who cant drink enough of the Irish liquid gold. There is a real shortage in aged stock. This is being reflected in rapidly rising prices.

For Grain whiskey, yes some brands have come on to the market. If you look around you’ll find a very small handful of expressions from Teeling, Kilbeggan & Midleton. However all the whiskey is quite young and clearly only small quantities have been released. Cooley for example did release a 15yr & 18yr under their Greenore brand. (And it actually won a lot of awards). Although it was soon discontinued as only 5,000 and 4,000 bottles were available. Why is so little of this whiskey available? Is it any good? As an investor why should I get excited about this? Well we’re going to laydown why Irish Grain Whiskey could be a very savvy investment and addition to any portfolio.

Cooley Grain and Single Malt Samples

Irish Grain Whiskey is of course a very important component of any Irish Blended Whiskey. Until recently most of it was made by the Midleton distillery down in Cork for their very successful Jameson brand. Very little grain whiskey was aged anything more than a few years. Recently the demand for Jameson and other Irish blends has skyrocketed. Jameson alone has gone from 500,000 cases to 7.5m in just 25 years! What has also caught Irish distillers by surprise is the increasing demand for blended whiskey. They are desperately short of both older Malt & Grain casks. With all these shortages it means that very little Grain Whiskey has ever been released. 

Is there even a market for Irish Grain Whiskey? The simple answer is absolutely, especially if you have older aged casks. At the moment you can only find younger expressions on the market. This is because most of the older casks are being tipped into blends. Recently we acquired some Cooley 2009 & 2010 Grain Whiskey casks and these are a great investment. Right now it tastes amazing so imagine how its is going to be in 10 years! These casks are certainly undervalued because there is very little older Irish grain whiskey lying in warehouses anywhere. Secondly it was distilled by Cooley. Their award winning Greenore 15yr & 18yr expressions prove how fantastic the whiskey is. Thirdly the age of the whiskey is 11 & 12 years old respectively. It is already at those magic numbers which are very appealing to consumers and thus Independent Bottlers.

This investment could be kept for a short while until it was 15 years old. Or, wait until it was either 18 or 21 years. This is when the value should’ve accelerated upwards even further. Our suggestion for your exit strategy is to put these casks up for auction with our ‘Auction Your Cask’ facility (with a reserve of-course). And see where the value goes. You could be very very pleasantly surprised.  

To find out more about Irish Whiskey Investment, contact The Masters today!

Tormore Distillery Focus

Tormore Distillery Focus

Traditionally there has only been a handful of Tormore Distillery Bottlings and these have not always been a priority for owners Chivas. Before addressing the liquid it’s worth noting that the distillery itself is absolutely stunning and before the building began on Macallan’s new site, Tormore would well lay claim to Scotland’s most visually unique distillery. Built in 1959 by famed architect Sir Albert Richardson it looks very palatial being made out of Scottish granite in a two-toned colour scheme. There is also a clock tower and everything is trimmed in copper and oak with beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding it. Unfortunately, it isn’t open to the public but is easily accessible from the main road so if you’re in the region it’s worth going out your way for the photo album. 

In its short history it has already had four owners and the main purpose of the distillery is to make Malt for the Ballantine’s blend (number two top-selling whisky in the world after Johnnie Walker) therefore not much Single Malt is released. However, there are a number of independent bottlings on the market and this distillery certainly has a cult following with whisky enthusiasts. Production is now up to 4.8 million litres and this a very smooth light fruity whisky, with some nutty characteristics on occasion.

If you can find it the 16-year-old (non chill-filtered, 48%) is an example of how good this whisky is and it’s a shame that it is such an important part of various blends that it is hidden from so many whisky enthusiasts around the world. From a whisky cask investment strategy there are a lot of ducks in a row here. Firstly, the whisky is very high quality. It is also relatively rare, produced by a good whisky company, and very much in demand by independent bottlers and whisky enthusiasts/collectors. At present, cask prices offer excellent value for money – so there are many, many positives.

Fact File

Name: Tormore 

Founded: 1958 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: Pernod Ricard 

Capacity: 4.8m litres 

Stills: 8 

Fermentation: 52 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon, small amount of sherry. 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: None entered. 

Independent bottlings: Around 475 

Core Range: None, limited edition 14 & 16 are the only distillery bottlings.

We have a range of Tormore Barrels on our current stock list. To find out more about investing in Tormore casks, contact The Masters today!