Hunter turned gamekeeper

We asked our Managing Director, Simon Aron, to tell us the story of Cask Trade’s conception and it is a good one!

Whisky appreciation starts with the father (my dad collected), the son (me) and the Holy Ghost (the golden liquid). What started for me as a hobby ended up as a bit of an obsession, but always a delicious voyage of enjoyment. After 27 years of whisky collecting and, of course, tasting whiskies, I finally decided it was time to start my own whisky business.

For those of you who know a little or enough about whisky, you will understand that it’s now becoming an actual bankable asset that appreciates at a phenomenal rate. Who would have thought it? I did.

From bottles to casks

While hunting for bottles of rare whisky –  whether it’s from pre-internet vendors in London, or eBay, or from fourteen whisky bottle auctions per month – you learn a lot.
It was a stage in my collecting that I call ‘school’. I have now graduated and mostly buy casks of whisky instead. The hunting for bottles (and storing them) can drive everybody mad. 2000+ bottles later, my wife gave me a choice which I will let you figure out.

Casks are so much easier. And, being held in bond, can be admired from a distance as well as traded at profit. But my experience with casks has not been an easy one. I had them go missing, never exist, be owned by someone else and even turn out to be in a different wooden cask. So in December 2018, I chose, after 25 years in technology, to start Cask Trade Ltd and to do it right.

I wanted to be transparent, professional and reasonable to an ever-increasing client base globally. My aim is to create the first real marketplace to trade casks. Facilitating buying, selling, trading and auctioning all around the globe. The first ever dedicated cask auction is the best way for owners to sell in an open and transparent way. With the additional services of bottling, labelling and shipping worldwide.

Why? Well, whisky is now comparable to SWAG (silver, wine, art and gold) as an asset class. According to two separate wealth reports (FT’s “How to spend it” and Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2019), the most profitable alternative investment over the past ten years is whisky. Growing by 582%, and 40% over the last 12 months alone, the next biggest performer is classic cars at 258%. It’s not available in great quantities and the simple laws of supply and demand apply. Even data from HMRC analysed by the Scotch Whisky Association, showed record highs across the industry in 2018 (£4.7 billion in exports alone).

So, I am in for a fun time and would welcome the company of others on the journey.

Simon Aron, Managing Director of Cask Trade Ltd.