Meet the Masters – Sarah Leonard

Meet the Masters – Sarah Leonard

Meet the Masters - Sarah

As the newest member of the Cask Trade team, Sales & Marketing Manager Sarah has joined us from the Emerald Isles and has brought with her passion for the brown nectar and an abundance of knowledge of the Irish whiskey scene.

How long have you worked for Cask Trade?
I have been with Cask Trade for one full week and three days now, and I am loving every minute of it.

What first ignited your passion for Whisky?
My Grandad was an avid whisky collector. I loved how he described the tasting notes of whisky. Sharing a dram of whisky with him was always a special moment whether it was a birthday celebration or after a Christmas Day swim in the Irish sea.

What are your top three favourite World whiskies and why?
1. Paul John, Indian whisky. The maturation and angels share is incredibly fast which I find fascinating. They use 6-row feed barley so it makes a very interesting spirit.
2. Millstone 100 rye whisky from the Netherlands. I recently tried this when I was in Groningen and found the flavours and 100% rye grain.
3. Abasolo, this is a Mexican whiskey. I love the concept and it’s fully corn.

What are your favourite flavours? Which aspects of whisky are the most important for you?
It depends on the time of year for flavours but during the winter months, I love the red wine, nutty notes of a sherry cask finish. Glenfiddich 15 is aged in European oak sherry casks and new oak casks, and the whisky is mellowed in a unique solera vat. This is the perfect warm, spicy winter whisky to sip by the fire. During the warmer months, I love a rum cask finish. I really enjoy the tropical notes in a whisky when the sun is shining, perched on a rooftop. Since moving to the UK and working for William Grant & Sons, I have dived into the world of peated whiskies from Islay such as Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin. I also really like Bruichladdich, even though they are an Islay brand that is non-peated.

Your favourite whisky cocktail?
A paper plane or I am a big fan of a whisky highball.

 Whisky with water or straight cask strength?
Both. It depends on what I want to taste from the whisky. Cask Strength has strong, bold, powerful flavours that burst in your palate. A little water can bring out different flavours and aromas that can make the experience more refined.

What do you like most about Cask Trade?
The ethos and energy of the team is very special. Everyone is super passionate about whisky and the team is so supportive and encouraging, everyday I am learning something new about whisky. I love the genuine approach Cask Trade has to whisky cask trading. It is totally transparent, and it is establishing a marketplace for trade and private clients alike.

Why should people purchase Whisky Casks?
It is an exciting alternative asset with exceptional growth. As the whisky matures in the cask, it increases in value. Purchasing a cask is a memorable experience; picking out your own unique cask, patiently waiting until the liquid is ready to sample, and eventually, you can even choose to bottle it if you wish. Buyers have the chance to own a piece of whisky. It is an alternative to traditional assets and provides a fascinating and fun journey with great expected returns.

To find out more about what Cask Trade can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact the team today and let’s talk whisky! 

We currently have a delicious range of Irish Single Malt & Grain Whiskey from Cooley distillery on our current stock list ranging from 2001-2010. To find out more about purchasing Irish Whiskey, contact The Masters today!

Cask Trade & Grief Encounter – Charity Clay Pigeon Shoot

Cask Trade & Grief Encounter – Charity Clay Pigeon Shoot

Grief Encounter Event

On Thursday the 30th of September, Cask Trade teamed up with Grief Encounter for their clay pigeon shooting event, donating a prize to their silent auction. Grief Encounter are a wonderful charity who support bereaved children and young people in the UK, with the aim of giving every child and young person access to the best possible support following the death of someone close.

We were proud to donate a Whisky Tasting Experience and look forward to hosting the lucky winner in our Regent St Tasting Room for a Guided Tasting, complete with an exciting selection of whiskies. The event was hosted at a beautiful shooting ground called Holland & Holland in Northwood.

Grief Encounter Event

The experience went for a fantastic £1,250 in the auction, which could fund the equivalent of one of the following:

  • 25 hours of 1:1 professional bereavement counselling for grieving children
  • 12 Grief Relief Kits, including Mr Good Grief hand puppet for bereaved families across the UK
  • 8 sessions of Group Therapy for families after a death
  • 2 Family Away Days

If you’d like to find out more about the families the charity support, watch this short film.

Grief Encounter Event

Grief Encounter’s counseling services are provided free of charge, funded by the generosity of their supporters, and are here to help alleviate the pain and confusion caused by the death of a parent or sibling. Bereavement is devastating at any age, but for a child it is life-changing.

You can donate and help aid the support of thousands of families in the UK who have experienced recent bereavement by clicking here.

Teaninich Distillery Focus

Teaninich Distillery Focus

 

Teaninich Distillery (pronounced Tee-ni-nick) is owned by famous whisky maker Diageo and its value to the company cannot be understated. It ranks at no. three in terms of production (out of 28 Diageo distilleries), with a capacity of over 10 million litres. Most of this production goes into the high-value blends, like Johnnie Walker, so very few casks have ever been bottled as a Single Malt. To taste this whisky you probably have to find an independent bottling as Diageo has only ever released three very limited editions!  

Teaninich Distillery has a surprisingly long and storied history, starting production way back in 1817. This in fact makes Teaninich one of Scotland’s first legal distilleries. It was founded by ‘blind’ Captain Hugh Munro, who lost his sight during his heroic escapades in the Napoleonic wars. Post-war Captain Munro decided to channel his energy into running his highland estate, choosing to open up a distillery, in part to support local farmers. This distillery was a great success, which has continued to this day. Situated in the Northern Highlands the style of this whisky is unpeated, medium-bodied, smooth, and oily. The samples we’ve tasted have had hints of pineapple, cocoa and vanilla underpinned by fresh grassy notes. This whisky is absolutely delicious.

If you’re looking to purchase a cask, Teaninich Distillery offers a few advantages. Firstly, the owners don’t release many of them, which increases the rarity. Secondly, the subsequent demand from the independent bottlers. Thirdly, the fact that the whisky is very high quality. A Teaninich cask would be a very savvy addition to any portfolio.

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

Auchroisk Distillery Focus

Auchroisk Distillery Focus

Auchroisk Distillery (pronounced ar-thrusk) opened in 1974 to take advantage of the post-war whisky boom, mainly to make Malt whisky fillings for the famous J&B Blend. Today production is still going strong and the distillery is operating 24/7, with production up to 5.8 million litres. Located in a remote part of Speyside, this Diageo distillery is renowned for having a quite nutty/spicy character. The character of the whisky comes from a very interesting production technique, which involves rapid mashing and a short fermentation, followed by a rapid boiling in the wash still. This is certainly unique and we’re not aware of any other distillery which produces its spirit this way. 

The first single malt bottling was actually in the mid-80s and was interestingly the first example we have of ‘finishing’. The whisky spent 10 years in a bourbon cask, before finishing off for two years in a sherry cask. However, this wasn’t adequately promoted or marketed, so both the technique and the brand itself never gained any traction. Since then official bottlings have been few and far between, with just a 25-year, 28-year and 30-year limited-editions released. 

Auchroisk Distillery, despite being fairly unknown, is clearly of great value to its owners Diageo, as they have it in full-time production and very little of it is released as official bottlings. Essentially this is a very unique Malt whisky in terms of its character, so there will be interest from the Independent Bottling market, of which we counted close to 600 on Whiskybase over the years. A distillery that has cult status amongst the enthusiasts is never a bad thing. Look to hold onto Auchroisk Distillery casks until they are 10 to 21 years old, would be our advice. 

 Fact File

Name: Auchroisk 

Founded: 1974 

Region: Speyside 

Owners: Diageo 

Capacity: 5.9m litres 

Stills: 8 

Fermentation: 53 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Mainly bourbon 

Current Sales: Minimal 

Recent significant awards: Non entered 

Independent bottlings: Around 575 

Core Range: None

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

Mannochmore Distillery Focus

Mannochmore Distillery Focus

 

Mannochmore Distillery is the sister distillery of Glenlossie and is situated right next door. Ownership is in the hands of the giant Diageo company and the distillery exists to make malt for the Haig & Dimple blended brands. Unlike its sister, this is one of Scotland’s newer distilleries, which has been in operation since 1971. Today capacity is up to a very healthy six million litres and the distillery runs seven days a week, with quite a long fermentation time of 100 hours. The style of the whisky itself is quite light, delicate, and floral and is clearly of that Speyside style. 

The attraction for investors here is the growing global army of single malt enthusiasts, who want to try and collect every single distillery. Mannochmore Distillery whisky is very rare and very hard to find. Again Diageo has rarely bottled anything and so independent bottlings are very thin on the ground. Make no mistake though, the liquid is good and the write-ups from the whisky writers and consumers alike, have all been impressive.  A 37-year expression from famous independent bottler Cadenhead has been well received, so clearly it ages well. 

If any casks do become available, then it’s certainly worth looking at from a portfolio approach and they may well be undervalued.  

 Fact File

Name: Mannochmore 

Founded: 1971 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: Diageo 

Capacity: 6m litres 

Stills: 6 

Fermentation: 55 Hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon  

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: None entered 

Independent bottlings: Around 375 

Core Range: None – several limited edition official bottlings

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

Tamdhu Distillery Focus

Tamdhu Distillery Focus

 

Tamdhu Distillery, like many Speyside distilleries, was opened in 1897 during the late Victorian whisky boom period. Situated in the heart of the region, just outside the village of Aberlour, it would be fair to describe Tamdhu as a late bloomer. Somewhat surprisingly, the distillery was closed in 2009 by the Edrington Group, but was rescued a couple of years later and reopened by Ian Macleod Distillers.

Before that though, its chequered history throughout the 20th century consisted of being mothballed and reopened. When it was producing whisky, it was to make Malt fillings for the blends Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse, and single malt bottlings were very rarely seen. However, under Ian Macleod, everything is rapidly changing. Firstly, they have accelerated the policy of re-racking everything into sherry casks, which has completely transformed the image and perception of the brand. A core range now consists of 10, 12 and 15-year, with a 50 year released in 2017. 

The style of the whisky is very classic Speyside and the last sample we tried had rich, sherry notes, tropical fruits and nuttiness, with an underlining crème brulee sweetness. It was truly delicious. Production has been ramped up to three million litres per year and there are certainly big plans moving forward. 

From an investment perspective, this Malt is undervalued and is a great addition to any portfolio. To the whisky enthusiasts and independent bottlers in the know, there is great demand for this Malt. The general public hasn’t caught up just yet, but that will certainly change. Our advice is to try and make a long-term play here because we think the value will accelerate rapidly upwards, as the investment into Tamdhu Distillery and brand by Ian Macleod, starts to reap benefits. 

 Fact File

Name: Tamdhu 

Founded: 1897 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: Ian Macleod Distillers 

Capacity: 4m litres 

Stills: 6 

Fermentation: 59 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Mainly sherry 1st & 2nd fill , some bourbon. 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: 2020 World Whisky Awards – Gold Medal – Worlds Best Single Cask 

Independent bottlings:  Around 500 

Core Range: 10, 12, 15 and numerous limited editions

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

Balmenach Distillery Focus

Balmenach Distillery Focus

 

Balmenach Distillery (Translation – The Middle Farm) lies in the southern part of Speyside in a remote location inside the Cairngorm National Park. If you find this distillery by accident, then it’s safe to say that you are lost! First opened in 1824, it is remarkable that with nearly 200 years of history, there have been virtually no bottlings from this distillery and outside of the whisky enthusiast world, nobody has ever heard of it.

This begs the question, why? The answer is in fact very simple and quite obvious – Balmenach is one of the most sought-after Single Malts for the blending houses. These types of rare malts are known as top dressing malts and they will lift the flavour in virtually any blend you add them to. Blended whisky still accounts for over 85% of the global market and while this is still the case, it’s hard to envisage much of this wonderful whisky ever becoming available. 

The production consists of a very long fermentation using small stills and a worm tub condenser. This is a very ‘old school’ style of whisky making, which produces a very meaty style, similar to Mortlach and Benrinnes. Since 2001, ownership has been in the hands of Inver House, which has only launched several very limited-edition 27-year & 28-year-olds. 

For investors, this is a distillery that will offer you great exit strategy opportunities. Firstly, the whisky ages very well, especially in sherry casks. Combined with the rarity of any kind of official bottlings means that the Independent Bottlers will be very interested when you decide to sell. The demand for these casks is high and the supply is low, therefore basic market forces will make this a very savvy investment indeed. 

 Fact File

Name:  Balmenach 

Founded: 1824 

Region: Speyside 

Owners: Inver House 

Capacity: 2.8m litres 

Stills: 6 

Fermentation: 56 – 90 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon & Sherry 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: Non entered 

Independent bottlings: Around 500 

Core Range: N/A

We have 2011 Balmenach Hogsheads on our current stock list. To find out more about investing in Balmenach Distillery casks, contact The Masters today!

Jura Distillery Focus

Jura Distillery Focus

 

There is evidence that some form of distilling has been going on in Jura for centuries. The current Jura Distillery can trace its history back to 1810, but after going through several name changes and ownership the distillery was closed and dismantled in 1901. The real story of Jura actually started in 1963 when Scottish & Newcastle breweries reopened the distillery and commenced production. The new stills installed were 7.7 metres tall (2nd tallest in Scotland), and with stainless steel washbacks and a relatively short fermentation time, the new style of Jura could only be described as quite light, salty, nutty and delicate. 

From the 1990s a small amount of peated whisky was produced and today they blend this in to just add a wisp of smoke to the modern Jura style. Whyte & Mackay took over ownership in 1996 and can be given a lot of credit for their investment, expansion and innovation of the brand. The core range today consists of a NAS called Journey, a 10-year, a 12-year, a Seven Wood and the very well-received 18-year which is finished in red wine casks. Besides this, there are now a whole plethora of limited-edition and Travel Retail special editions, and we think it’s safe to say that Jura is now firmly established in the upper ranks of Single Malt brands. 

For investors, this distillery ticks a lot of boxes. This is an opportunity to buy into a well-known established brand in which the owners are investing heavily (Dalmore is one of the sister brands). The whisky clearly ages very well in every type of cask imaginable and our advice would be to hold onto this cask until it is 18-years-old where the demand from the Independent Bottlers will be highest. Jura is a great addition to any portfolio.

Fact File

 Name: Jura 

Founded: 1810 

Region: Highlands (Islands) 

Owners: Whyte & Mackay 

Capacity: 2.4m litres 

Stills: 4 

Fermentation: 54 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated / 5% peated. 

Casks Used: bourbon, sherry, red wine, chinkapin, port. 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: Isle of Jura 1988 – Gold Medal at 2020 IWSC awards 

Independent bottlings: Around 650 

Core Range: Journey NAS, 10-year, 12-year, Seven Wood, 18-year.

We currently have a delicious selection of  2010 Jura Sherry Butts on our current stock list.
To find out more about investing in Jura casks, contact The Masters today!