Craigellachie Distillery Focus

Craigellachie Distillery Focus

Craigellachie is a fully paid-up member of the Speyside ‘meaty’ club with Cragganmore, Benrinnes, and Mortlach. Like so many distilleries it opened up in the late Victorian boom-time in the 1890s and had a very unremarkable history until after the millennium. It really is quite incredible that so many of these wonderful Single Malt distilleries just made fillings for blends and their delicious spirit was never tasted by consumers.

The new-make of Craigellachie is actually very sulphury which is quite off-putting when you nose it. However, this is temporary because when the spirit is aged these notes completely disappear leaving a whisky that is full-bodied and aromatic with wonderful tropical fruit notes. The pungent sulphur notes come from the more limited interaction between the copper and the spirit whilst the heavier ‘meaty’ style is certainly enhanced by the fact that Craigellachie is one of the few distilleries left that still uses a traditional worm tub condenser.

Fermentation time is relatively long at 60 hours and production is around four million litres per year. In 1998 the distillery became part of the Dewars group and finally in 2004 single malt bottlings started to be released. In 2014 a core range of 13, 17, and a 23-year-old were released and whisky consumers became aware of this wonderful malt.

From an investment perspective, this is a great addition to any portfolio for a number of reasons. Firstly as explained above the liquid is of the highest quality and the fact that it has been hidden away for so long means it is very much in demand from whisky enthusiasts. In recent years there has been a dazzling myriad of independent bottlings which tells its own story. Our advice with Craigellachie is to wait until it is at least 15 years old. It truly does get much better with age after its very sulphury birth.

We talk a lot about the magic ages of 10/12/15/18/21 and 25 but we think this is an excellent long-term play if you can wait until it is 18 to 25 years old. Other factors to consider are that its owners’ Dewars have deep pockets and have big plans to promote the Single Malt globally. We can only see the image of this brand being greatly enhanced in future years. Essentially you have a lot of flexibility on whatever exit strategy you wish to pursue so this has to rate as a very strong buy.

Fact File

Name: Craigellachie 

Founded: 1891 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: John Dewar’s (Bacardi) 

Capacity: 4.1m Litres 

Stills: 4 

Fermentation: 56-60 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon with some sherry casks. 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: 2017 World Whisky Awards Gold Medal / 2021 Silver Medal for the 13-year-old. 

Independent bottlings: Around 900 

Core Range: 13, 17, 23 year old. 

We have 2009 Cragellachie Sherry Butts on our current stock list.
To find out more about investing in Craigallachie Whisky, 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!

The Cask Trade Trilogy

The Cask Trade Trilogy

Introducing The Cask Trade Trilogy

We are delighted to introduce you to The Cask Trade Trilogy, a limited edition trio of casks available in three unique expressions. (Limited to 1 per customer).

Using new make spirit distilled at the award-winning Speyside Distillery in Kingussie, Scotland, we will create three distinct whisky expressions– Bourbon, Sherry and Port Matured.

The Journey Begins

From the moment this classic Speyside spirit is filled into cask it starts to develop and take on the flavours ingrained in the wood. After three years the whisky will begin to evolve and gain the milestone of single malt status when you will be invited to take your first taste. From here you can choose to bottle it after five years or continue on the maturation journey.

A passionate purchase

The creation of this Trilogy is a first for Cask Trade and a truly exceptional opportunity for whisky enthusiasts and investors alike.

Like you, we are fanatical about whisky and believe the marrying of the liquid with the wood to create three different flavour profiles will be an extraordinary experience.

For the love of whisky

We have priced the casks keenly with passionate whisky enthusiasts in mind, offering you a fulfilling experience at an affordable price and one we believe is a good investment. The total Trilogy price is £5,000. We have included 5 years free storage and insurance for your convenience.

Trilogy Cask 1   

First-fill Bourbon Barrel

130 casks (100 Trilogy Sets)


Available now

Bourbon barrels are perfectly suited to maturing Scotch whisky. The bourbon they previously held softens the oak, ensuring a smooth and subtle whisky. These barrels have been made exclusively from American oak, giving the whisky a honeyed and vanilla characteristic.

Trilogy Cask 2 

Second-fill Sherry Hogshead

100 casks (100 Trilogy Sets)


Available now

The lingering flavours of the sherry are still present in the wood and these are shared with the maturing whisky. The profile is typically deep and sweet, fruity and nutty giving the whisky a distinctive colour and strong, rich flavour.

Trilogy Cask 3

Port Wine Barriques

100 casks (100 Trilogy Sets)


Available June 2021

The port barriques impart the vibrant fruit-filled flavour profile of the fortified wine giving the whisky a subtle ruby hue, often resulting in a richness and sweetness.

Join us on this journey

This limited-edition, unique trilogy allows for each customer to purchase one cask of each expression.

Rest assured, we will travel on this journey with you arranging samples at the different stages of maturation to provide your unique tasting experience.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, get in touch today.

Small print/terms and conditions

Purchase of The Cask Trade Trilogy is limited to one per customer.

Insurance and storage is included in the price for the first five years of ownership, beyond which it is chargeable. No refund for storage and insurance will be given if the cask is sold before five years.

In respect of Selling on, bottling, labels & packaging the following condition applies: 

If the New Make spirit has been matured: 

  1. For less than 15 years from the filled date the label & packaging can state: “distilled at Speyside Distillery” and “Speyside Distillery” WITH written approval from Cask Trade
  2. For 15 years or more from the filled date the label & packaging can state: “distilled at Speyside Distillery” and “Speyside Distillery” WITHOUT written approval from Cask Trade

In both cases the label & packaging need to comply with the Scotch Whisky Regulations and any relevant guidance issued by the Scotch Whisky Association. 

If any of the casks are sold on by you the bottling, labelling, and packaging Terms & Conditions will need to be passed onto the purchaser. 

Casks cannot be traded or moved for the first three years from the filing date. 

Samples can be requested for an additional charge.

Estimates of storage prices and insurance post five years can be provided.


The Rise, Fall, & Rise Again of Irish Whiskey by Phil Huckle

The Rise, Fall, & Rise Again of Irish Whiskey by Phil Huckle


Today the global marketplace is dominated by Scotch Whisky. Powerhouse blends like Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal & Ballantine’s can be found widely distributed in every country in the world. Even where it is highly illegal to drink alcohol! Single Malt whisky sales are in a steep trajectory upwards which is sure to continue when the pandemic is over. However, it wasn’t always this way. In this article, I’m going to explore the past and present to help give you investors a clear vision of the future and what my advice would be moving forward.

Johnnie Walker glass


Where to start? Well both the Scots & Irish lay claim to be the first to distil whisk(e)y. There is actually evidence on both sides. Ergo, this Englishman is not going to get involved in that particular war of words. I’ll leave the Celtic cousins to it. However, it is very clear that by the 1500s both countries were involved in widespread illegal home distilling. The fiery liquid being produced was being drunk neat and unaged. Over in Ireland which was under British rule new laws were passed. This made it illegal to distil any spirit without a license.

Most Irish laughed at this because beyond the large ditch (known as The Pale) which surrounds the land around Dublin these laws were ignored. This is where the famous saying ‘beyond the pale’ comes from! The British though continued to pass their laws as they gained more firm control over the country.

In 1661 the first heavy taxation was imposed on Irish whiskey. However, despite this production continued to expand, most of which was illegal. It wasn’t until the late 1700s that things really started to move in a positive direction in terms of quality. The invention of the steam engine and the industrial revolution really transformed the industry. But just when the future was looking bright, heavy taxation stopped it in its tracks and drove production underground again.

Assortment of whiskies

However, in 1823 in both Scotland & Ireland, the tax laws were changed for the better. Fed up with the huge amounts of tax-free illegal distilling occurring, and the cost of having an army of excise men to track them down, one of our most enlightened Chancellors of the Exchequer (it’s a very short list!) transformed the distilling industry for the better. Step forward Sir Robert Peel who did something truly remarkable… He massively lowered the tax on distilling to encourage the industry to go legal and to ultimately raise a lot more revenue! (Try explaining that to any politician today and they won’t understand)! This is exactly what happened as in just 12 years legal distilleries in Ireland went from 32 to 93.

Although again just when it looked like it was coming up Irish, there were huge problems with the potato famine. Additionally, there was a lot of fraud, counterfeit whiskey, and a severe lack of regulation hurting progress. Another surprising twist in the fortunes of Irish Whiskey occurred in the late 1870/80s. The phylloxera epidemic wiped out the French vineyards. Consequently, the dominant spirit of French Brandy was almost impossible to find, but the people had to drink something. Irish whiskey stepped forward and in a short space of time production quadrupled.

This was a true golden era for Irish whiskey as it totally dominated the global market. It was also helped by the invention of the railways and the huge expansion of the British Empire. Plus, fuelled by the quickly expanding US market. Luck was well and truly smiling on the Irish and the number of distilleries ballooned to over 200! Although it couldn’t last…

Glass of Bushmills


By 1914 it was all starting to unravel. World War 1 had just started and grain was being diverted for food production. This happened just as the German submarines had surrounded the British Isles. Then in 1916, the Irish started their war of independence which whilst ultimately successful, meant that Irish whiskey was effectively cut off from the very profitable British Empire market. If that wasn’t enough our American cousins introduced prohibition in 1919 (what were they thinking?!). The canny Scots immediately started to facilitate a huge smuggling operation through the British colonies of Canada. This also included the Bahamas, in order for the whisky to reach American consumers.

The Irish were blocked from this route. To make matters even worse, the illegal bathtub distillers started to make fake rotgut whiskey. They called it Irish for the simple reason that Irish whiskey used to sell for a higher price than Scotch. This though absolutely ruined the reputation of Irish whiskey whilst Scotch whiskey was being enhanced. It got worse…

In the Irish home market, the abstinence movement was gaining great traction through the Church. Many Irish were encouraged to ‘take the pledge’ and give up alcohol. Therefore in a few short years, Irish whiskey lost the US market, the British Empire market, and their own domestic market. The number of distilleries quickly went from 200 down to three! Things remained bleak for many years. Even when prohibition was finally over in 1933 the world then fell into a huge global depression. This was then followed by World War II. It wasn’t until 1966 when the first seeds of recovery started to occur.


In 1966 the three surviving distilleries (Jameson, Powers, Cork) in the South decided to pool resources and form the company Irish Distillers Ltd. A few years later they were joined by the only distillery in the North (Bushmills). However, the new company wasn’t that successful. They were eventually taken over by the French group Pernod Ricard with Bushmills going to British company Diageo in 2005. The huge global reach and marketing resources of these two companies then started the recovery. The main driving force has been the Jameson brand. By the mid-1990s sales globally had reached a very impressive 500,000 cases.

Jamesons bottle & glass

Today this has risen to 7.5 million! The interest in Irish whiskey has just exploded and with that more and more premium, older expressions have been released. The Irish Pot Still whiskies are now seen in terms of quality as the equivalent of Scottish Single Malt. The success of Redbreast, Midleton, The Spot Whiskies, Powers John’s Lane, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, Teeling, Writer’s Tears, Connemara, West Cork… the list goes on.


For investors, this is a very exciting time to look at getting into Irish Whiskey. These are the reasons why the future looks very bright….

  • History/Heritage – Irish Whiskey has an abundance of this (as you’ve just read) which today’s consumers hold great importance to. It’s also a marketeers’ dream to have something genuine to promote.

  • Quality – All the raw ingredients, distilling knowledge, and climatic conditions which make Scotch Whisky so special are also equally present in Ireland. The whiskey the Irish are making is very, very good.

  • Investment – Huge telephone numbers of investment are going into building new distilleries, upgrading facilities and the promotion of various brands. This doesn’t happen if all these very successful companies are not confident of future opportunities. Currently, there are four large established distilleries, nine new ones up and running with a further 22 being built.

  • Shortages – Demand is outstripping supply with aged whisky. Independent bottlings are still relatively thin on the ground so with 1500 Independent Bottling companies desperate for good quality Irish whiskey there will always be an exit strategy for any investor.

  • The US Advantage – The Americans love Scotch Whisky but they are almost obsessed with Irish Whiskey. Starved of supply and quality for close to 100 years our American friends cannot buy enough Irish Whiskey it seems. This is certainly fuelled by the huge Irish American population and the US is by far the most important spirits market in the world.

  • Global Trends – Irish Whiskey is very strong in the US and a few other markets but there is so much untapped potential around the world especially in Asia and South America. There is no reason why Irish whiskey can’t carve out its own chunk of every market where Scotch whisky does well.

    Bushmills casks


Of course, everything comes down to price and value. Therefore look for a distillery that is already proven to make great quality whiskey, has established successful brands, but still has good value for investors – this would be the safe investment play here. One distillery springs to mind… Cooley (of which we have on our current stock list in the forms of Single Malt and Single Grain!).

For more info on the Irish Whiskey we have in stock and other casks on our stock list, click here (you must be registered on our website and logged into your account to view it).

Speyside Distillery Focus

Speyside Distillery Focus

Nestled inside the magnificent Cairngorm National Park is the Speyside distillery. Opened in 1990 Speyside distillery didn’t show up on anybody’s radar until the new owners took over in 2012. Since then they have released some very exciting expressions. From a 12/18 and 27-year-old to 12-year-old peated cask and a 12-year-old port cask. However, what investors should certainly pay close attention to are their three cask strength versions. Tenne (Port finish), Trutina (Bourbon), and Fumare (Peated – Bourbon cask). These expressions will tell you how well this whisky ages in the cask.

Speyside Distillery

Recently we introduced an opportunity for investors to purchase what we called The Cask Trade Trilogy. This consists of three casks of Speyside new-make spirit aged in three different casks. To view Sir Colin Hampden-White and Phil Huckle taste indicative samples of the tasty trio click here. Speyside distillery really is producing some fantastic liquid!

The distillery is currently producing about 600,000 litres per year with a fermentation time of between 70-120 hours. We would describe their whisky as quite light in style but with a wonderful depth of flavour. Brand Executive Phil’s tasting notes when trying their bourbon cask talked of lots of floral, honey, citrus and grassy notes.

Branded SPEY Casks

From an investor’s point of view, not only is Speyside a rising star that is bound to surprise people in the future, but it is incredible value for money. Also, it is becoming increasingly popular in the all-important Asian market and right now is already very popular in Taiwan. We can’t recommend this distillery enough!

Fact File

Name: Speyside 

Founded: 1990 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: Speyside Distillers 

Capacity: 600,000 litres 

Stills: 2 

Fermentation: Varied 70-120 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon, sherry, port. 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: 2021 San Francisco World Spirit Awards – Gold Medal Spey Trutina, Silver Medal Spey Fumare. 

Independent bottlings: Around 150 

Core Range: Tenne NAS, Trutina NAS, Fumare NAS, 10, 12 Peated Cask, 12 Port Cask.

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

Cooley Irish Whiskey Distillery Focus

Cooley Irish Whiskey Distillery Focus


The Irish weren’t very lucky when it came to whiskey in the early part of the 20th century. From having a dominant position over their Scottish cousins it all quickly unraveled thanks to US Prohibition. They gained independence but were then hit with huge tariffs for the British Empire market; the surprisingly very strong temperance movement in their own domestic market. In a short space of time, Ireland went from around 200 distilleries down to three. Finally, the comeback is well and truly on and Cooley Irish Whiskey can be proud of the part they played in this.

In 1985 John Teeling bought a state-owned potato schnapps (a joke here would just be too easy). He converted it into Ireland’s first new whiskey distillery in over 100 years. Early on they decided to innovate and break from the standard way of doing things. The release of a peated malt was actually quite controversial at the time as that was considered Scottish territory. However, Teeling said why shouldn’t we challenge the Scots on their own turf as clearly, peated whisky was very popular.

Cooley Grain and Single Malt Samples

The distillery itself is located just south of the border in County Louth. They actually in effect have two distilleries in one as they also produce grain whiskey for their blends. Current production is up to around 650,000 litres for their Malt with two pot stills operating. Most of the aging’s done in first-fill bourbon casks but they do use sherry, port, and Madeira cask finishes. Some of Cooley’s current products are gaining in sales and very positive reviews. These include their Kilbeggan Blend, their Connemara Peated Malt, and of course the Tyrconnell Single Malt.

Recently they were bought by the Japanese company Suntory, which has seemingly only helped them go from strength to strength.

A little dram

From an investor point of view, it is clear that Irish Whiskey is on a strong upward trajectory, and evidence of this is recent global sales and the number of new distilleries opening/being built. This is a very good time to add Cooley Irish Whiskey to your portfolio; with Cooley, you have a producer with an already very strong track record, with a loyal growing following (especially in the all-important US market) and who make great whiskey. We have Irish Whiskey on our current stock list so get in touch and let’s talk Whiskey!

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

Mackmyra Distillery Focus

Mackmyra Distillery Focus


Mackmyra is a relatively new distillery, having started distilling in 2002. The inspiration for the distillery started when a group of friends on a ski trip had brought with them a bottle of whisky for their host. The conversation then started about creating a high-quality Swedish whisky. Three years later their dream had become a reality and in 2006 they released their first expression. (It sold out quicker than Rolling Stones tickets!).

Fjäderholmarna island

In 2011 Mackmyra opened up their ground-breakingly innovative Gravity Distillery. The seven-story building starts with the local malted Swedish barley going in on the top floor. Every floor down is another step in the process, with distillation occurring on the second floor. The new-make spirit then comes out on the ground floor. The distillery uses all the latest energy-efficient devices which makes Mackmyra one of the ‘greenest’ whiskies in the world.

Much of Mackmyra is aged in local Swedish oak. This is very different from your traditional American white oak as the trees grow much slower in the much colder climate. This imparts a spicier, fiery quality to the whisky, which is balanced by a vanilla sugar sweetness that is also prevalent. Mackmyra does also use American and Sherry casks in its aging, and these are also worth looking out for. Another innovative project that Mackmyra has started is finishing their whiskies in a whole range of casks. These include ones that have previously contained lingonberry wine, cloudberry wine, roasted coffee beans, cherry wine, beer & rum. Exciting times ahead.

Mackmyra samples

For the future, we do believe that the reputation of Mackmyra is going to continue to grow. In the cool climate of Sweden, their whisky is only going to continue to improve with age and become highly collectible. If you have a couple of spare kronor, then you know what to do.

Mackmyra Gravity Distillery

To find out more about New World Whisky Investment (and the exciting new additions to our stock list), contact The Masters today!

Paul John Distillery Focus

Paul John Distillery Focus


Paul John’s Single malt distillery is located in Goa and they make their whisky the Scottish way using a double distillation of malted barley. The wash comes in though at quite a low 5% ABV (rather than the usual 8%) and this gives a much sweeter taste. After distillation, the new-make spirit will go into the cask at 55% and after four/five years of aging in the tropical heat, the final product comes in at around 57% for their Single Casks. It’s worth pointing out that the tropical monsoon climate of Goa ages the whisky very fast as compared to Scotland and just four or five years in that climate could be argued to be the equivalent of 12-15yrs in the Highlands.

The Indian-made copper pot stills produce about two million litres of spirit per year and maturation actually takes place in underground cellars, which whilst cooler than the outside temperature, the angels share is very high, as temperatures regularly hit 35c+. Paul John uses a mixture of Bourbon & Sherry casks and interestingly makes some smoky batches using peat imported from Scotland.

New World Whisky

Whisky aficionados in the know are getting more and more excited about this wonderful distillery. Recently Paul John was awarded one of the Top Three whiskies in the world in the 2020 World Whisky Awards and has a whole slew of gold medals from every award show imaginable. Make a note, Paul John is quickly rising in the whisky ranks.

To find out more about New World Whisky Investment (and the exciting new additions to our stock list), contact The Masters today!