Cask Investment – Let’s talk numbers!

While we don’t make estimates and predictions on the future value of cask whisky, we’re happy to help advise you based on our own experience.

Whether you are a seasoned investor, a first-time buyer or looking to bottle straight away, we have options for you!

Let’s take Glenrothes for example…

Cask Price Increases

In October 2019, a 40-year-old Glenrothes bottling will be released for the first time. One bottle will set you back £2900. For less than the price of two of these bottles you can acquire an entire cask. One of our sherry butts from 2015 contains well over 700 bottles and costs as little as £5,601.38.

Our Glenrothes Sherry Butts from 2015 are available for £5,601.38, casks from 2012 for £7,823.31, and from 2011 for £8,281.68. This gives a 10.27% annual percent return on a four-year-old cask over four years. With a difference in age of only three months between our 2012 and 2011 casks (distilled in February and November respectively), the increase in value is 5.5%.

Earlier this year, a 1st fill 2006 Glenrothes Sherry Butt sold at auction for £21,000, highlighting the financial potential of mature casks from this distillery as well as its high desirability: read more here!

With in-bond sales exempt from capital gains tax, the potential returns are clearly attractive.

Bottle price increases

Another way of understanding the potential value of our Glenrothes casks is by looking at bottle prices. Don’t confuse distillery expressions bottled at 40% with single cask, cask strength editions; the latter will always fetch higher prices. Please note that the bottle cost in-cask does not include duty or VAT, which is included in the bottle price. As the whisky gets older and the bottle price increases, the price of duty per bottle (approx. £10 per 70cl bottle) stays the same. In fact, duty on a very old bottle with a naturally lower strength will be less than a younger bottle at a higher strength.

A Glenrothes 2015 has an in-cask bottle price of approximately £7.36. When buying a 2012 or 2011 cask, the price-per-bottle in cask is around £10.65 and £11.28 respectively. A single-cask bottling of 8-year-old Glenrothes has an average retail price of £60. For a 2011 sherry butt, the spirit inside has a potential retail value of over £44,000 based on approximately 734 bottles at cask strength. When filled, these casks contain 779 bottles worth of spirit; this amount reduces with age due to the natural evaporation of spirit from the cask known as the ‘angel’s share’.

glenrothes bottle

Let’s fast forward to a 30-year-old Glenrothes. A bottle of this rare liquid would set you back at least £440.

Due to the angel’s share, we’d expect around 490 bottles to be drawn from the cask, with an on-the-shelf value in excess of £200,000.
The best way to approach buying casks, as with any investment, is to create a balanced portfolio of different ages, different hold times, and different distilleries. We would highly recommend adding any of our Glenrothes sherry butts to an existing portfolio, or as a first foray into casks as an alternative asset!

Understand that these numbers are based on our prices and every cask is different and unique in its own way.
With our expertise and experience, we are more than happy to recommend the perfect cask fitting your requirements, but we still advise everybody to do their own research.

Contact us and let’s talk whisky!