A Summer Solstice Celebration of Whisky & Art

A Summer Solstice Celebration of Whisky & Art

After the success of our St Andrew’s Day event, we decided that the Summer Solstice (20/21 June) would be the perfect date for another special Cask Trade celebration of whisky and art. Once again the Alon Zakaim Gallery in Mayfair kindly agreed to host us (we’re sure this was nothing to do with Alon’s appreciation of fine Scotch whisky!).

Summer solstice

Over two days 150 customers and their guests were treated to over 50 different drams of mainly cask-strength whisky, surrounded by the stunning art. The highlight whisky was a rare 1967 Gordon & Macphail bottling of The Glenlivet. Other drams on the menu which were very popular included bottlings from Mannochmore 13 years, Macduff 13, Speyside 23, and an Ardmore 12. The Glen Ord 11 year and the Aberlour Abunadh are also worthy of a mention.

In the main room, guests were very impressed with the iconic photography of Terry O’Neil. The full-size prints of Mohammed Ali with the Beatles, Dean Martin in a smoky bar, and Raquel Welch on a cross wearing her fur bikini from the movie ‘One Million Years BC’ provided the perfect backdrop to a wonderful evening.

Summer solstice

A huge, huge thank you to MD Simon for helping to organise the event and providing the all-important drams, and a special shout out to Alon, Maggie, and all the team at the gallery for being such generous and helpful hosts for our Summer Solstice soiree.


Cask Trade is an extraordinary cask business run by passionate experts with over 100 combined years in the industry who have created a moving marketplace for buying and selling casks that is open to all. For further details on our unrivalled inventory of casks click here.

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Guyana Rum (Enmore & Uitvlugt Distilleries)

Guyana Rum (Enmore & Uitvlugt Distilleries)

 

The Enmore Sugar Factory was founded in the early 1800s and it was very common for a distillery to be attached to all factories. The famous Enmore still is very unique as it is a wooden column still, which was moved to the Diamond Distillery when Enmore closed its doors for the last time in 1993. Virtually no casks of this rum exist anymore. With tropical aging, you cannot age rum for too long in the Caribbean, certainly not for 30+ years. Therefore, these casks were moved to Liverpool in 1993 and the Guyana rum has spent the majority of its time gently maturing in the cooler climate here. 

The Enmore still is not only the world’s last surviving wooden still but also the world’s oldest operating column still, so an incredible piece of history here. The still was built in 1880, using the original plans of the first Coffey still with, 25 copper plates in the first analyser column, and 32 copper plates in the 2nd rectifying column. 

Regarding the Uitvlugt (pronounced eye-flot) Distillery, they also have a very similar storied history, which can trace its roots back to 1871. Attached again to a sugar factory, this distillery also had a famous wooden still, which was known as the Versailles Still. However, this is one of the oldest pot stills left in existence and is actually 250 years old! The still was originally part of the Versailles distillery, before moving to Uitvlugt and is now to be found at the Diamond Distillery. It is known for producing heavy, distinctively robust, and highly flavourful rum. Only two wooden pot stills are left and both are in Guyana. This is rum making from a long-forgotten bygone age, and there is truly nothing like it in the world. 

Guyanese rum uses the highly sort after Demerara sugar cane. This high-quality cane has been harvested since the 16th century and the rum industry sprung to life not that much later. By the 18th century, British Guyana could actually boast 384 distilleries! The style of rum from this region is very heavy and actually quite aromatic, with so many robust flavours coming to the fore. In our experience, it ages incredibly well and expects to find lots of toasted oak richness, and rum cake, with underlying cooked pineapple notes also coming to the fore. It truly is delicious rum. 

For private clients/independent bottlers, what to consider here is a very rare piece of rum history. Firstly, these historic distilleries were both closed way back in 1993, and this is some of the last rum made with the famous Enmore and Uitvlugt Versailles stills, in their original homes. We suggest that close attention is needed to how the rum is currently maturing. For Indy bottlers, these wonderfully-unique casks are ready for bottling now and it would certainly garner a lot of attention in the rum enthusiast world.

This would become a standout offering, in any company’s collection. Interestingly, in the last few years, there have been signs that rare rum from famous distilleries has become much more investible. Therefore, to purchase this Guyana rum cask now and to hold on to it until it reaches the milestone age of 40 years could be a very savvy move.

We currently have an old & rare 1990 Guyana (Uitvlugt) Barrel on our stock list. To find out more about Rum Cask Investment, contact The Masters today!

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A St Andrew’s Day Celebration of Whisky & Art

A St Andrew’s Day Celebration of Whisky & Art

Table of Drams

The Patron Saint of Scotland was honoured in style across two nights of St Andrew’s Day celebrations hosted by Cask Trade at the Alon Zakaim gallery in Mayfair this week (29/30).

An evening of whisky and art was enjoyed by more than 150 customers and their guests who enjoyed a rare opportunity to taste over 40 drams of cask-strength whisky in the stunning surroundings of the fine art gallery on Cork Street.

Colin and the Glassmates

Invited guests were taken on a dram journey with highlights including Tullibardine 13 years old Sherry Hogshead, Royal Brackla 12 years old Bourbon Barrel, Caol Ila 14 years old Bourbon Hogshead and Speyside Distillery 24 years old Bourbon Hogshead.

Tasting under the glow of the gallery’s Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art, the Cask Trade celebrations concluded with an extra special dram of Benromach 40 years old Old Cask, a limited release of just 1,047 bottles.

Benromach 40 YO

Cask Trade is an extraordinary cask business run by passionate experts with over 100 combined years in the industry who have created a moving marketplace for buying and selling casks that is open to all. For further details on our unrivalled inventory of casks click here.

Alon Zakaim Fine Art will be showcasing a range of works by Modern Masters such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Henry Moore as well as iconic photography by Terry O’Neill and Chris Smith until Christmas.

Guests

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Benromach 40 YO

A Night of Decadence and Whisky at 67 Pall Mall

A Night of Decadence and Whisky at 67 Pall Mall

 

On Tuesday, 9th November Cask Trade hosted a fantastic whisky tasting at the prestigious private members club, 67 Pall Mall. Simon Aron our MD and founder kicked off the evening with a short welcome speech, before handing the floor over to Cask Trade raconteurs Sir Colin Hampden-White and Phil Huckle. They proceeded to guide the members on a tasting journey featuring an array of delectable single cask spirits, consisting of four whiskies and one rum.

Glen Moray 12-year

They started off with a Cask Trade resident favourite, the Glen Moray 12-year – this was an instant hit! From the offset, the atmosphere was electric and the crowd was noticeably engaged in the tasting, asking an abundance of insightful questions along the way. The repartee between Colin and Phil certainly added to the convivial atmosphere and it’s safe to say the members thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The favourite whisky of the evening was the Orkney single malt (Highland Park) 13- year sherry cask, which was fondly described by guests as ‘exquisite’. We don’t think we can top that description!

Orkney Malt

Finally, a big thank you to our Sales & Marketing Executive Manager Josh Wood who ably assisted the hosting with his affable charm, and not forgetting the 67 Pall Mall events team and all their hard work that helped make for a most enjoyable evening.

Royal Brackla

The Whiskies

Lady of the Glen 12 YO – Distilled at Glen Moray Distillery, First-fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 57.1% ABV.

Infrequent Flyers 14 YO – Distilled at Royal Brackla Distillery, Chinquapin Oak Barrel, 57.8% ABV.

The Golden Cask 10 YO – Distilled at Ardmore Distillery, Bourbon Cask, 56% ABV.

Mey Selections 13 YO – Distilled on the Orkney Islands (Highland Park), First-Fill Sherry Cask, 51% ABV.

Ardmore Distillery

The Rum

Cadenheads 17 YO – Distilled at the Monymusk distillery, Jamaica. Ex-Bourbon barrel, 52.6% ABV

Contemplating adding a Whisky Casks to your Portfolio? Feel free to try before you buy. Contact the team today to arrange your very own tasting session in our Sampling Room casktrade.com/contact-us/

An Evening of Whisky Tasting with Our Regent Street Neighbours

An Evening of Whisky Tasting with Our Regent Street Neighbours

 

Last month Cask Trade treated our Regent Street office neighbours to a delightful evening of whisky tasting held in our Sampling Room.

Hosted by Cask Trade’s Brand Executive Phil Huckle, our guests sampled four delicious whiskies – a Port Dundas 12-year Grain Whisky, a Caol Ila 11-year aged in a Bourbon Cask, a Craigellachie eight-year also aged in a Bourbon Cask, and a Sherry Cask matured Tullibardine 14-year.

Phil at the helm

To start the event our MD Simon Aron welcomed the guests and spoke for a few minutes about Cask Trade and the cask whisky marketplace, before Phil took over and guided everyone through the whiskies and spoke about the Scotch Whisky industry as a whole, leading the tasting with an insightful and entertaining approach.

Plenty of anecdotes, stories, and drams later, followed up with some great questions from our guests, it was safe to say an enjoyable end to the week was had by all, and we think it’s fair to say that Cask Trade are now on very good terms with our neighbours…!

Phil leading the tasting

Contemplating adding a Whisky Casks to your Portfolio? Feel free to try before you buy. Contact the team today to arrange your very own tasting session in our Sampling Room casktrade.com/contact-us/

Mauritius Rum (La Bourdonnaise Distillery)

Mauritius Rum (La Bourdonnaise Distillery)

 

Mauritius Rum is produced on Mauritius, a tropical island paradise situated east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The island was first a Dutch, then French, then British colony but even though they have been growing an abundance of sugar cane for centuries there was no history of rum production.

This would seem surprising at first glance, but as the locals don’t drink, and the British had an abundance of rum being produced from their Caribbean islands, a law was passed banning production. Even more surprising was that this wasn’t repealed until 2006…! Now there are six producers on the island and La Bourdonnaise Distillery is slowly getting recognised.

A number of bottlings of Mauritius Rum from La Bourdonnaise Distillery have started to appear and there is a particularly good one available by Masters of Malt which has been aged in Sherry Butts – the reviews are good. The rum is made from sugar cane juice and distilled in column stills situated in a stunning old plantation house. Production is currently quite small, but sales are starting to take off around Asia. 

One thing for certain is that rum is finally on the rise after threatening to increase in popularity for many years. Mauritius Rum Casks are the new kids on the block but an exciting addition to any portfolio.

We currently have some scrumptious 2010 Marituius Rum Sherry Butts on our stock list. To find out more about Rum Cask Investment, contact The Masters today!

Cheese & Whisky Pairing Night

Cheese & Whisky Pairing Night

Cheese & Whisky pairing

It was our pleasure last Friday to welcome some new customers to our tasting room at Cask Trade HQ. As lockdown is slowly easing this is something that we love to do. At the end of the day, we are all whisky enthusiasts here!

We take any opportunity we have to share our passion and consume some high-quality Single Malt Scotch of course! Whisky actually pairs very well with cheese. Therefore, a quick trip to the local delicatessen (many advantages to having Mayfair and Soho on your doorstep) saw five kinds of cheese matched with five delicious single cask bottlings.

Cheese & Whisky pairing

In no particular order, we enjoyed whisky from Ardmore paired with Gorgonzola, Glen Moray with stilton, Glenrothes with brie and Royal Brackla paired with Cornish Yarg and mature cheddar. We then finished off with a very special 23-year-old Sherry Cask bottling from the wonderful Speyside Distillery. (Thanks again Simon!).

A very memorable evening was had by all and finally a special thank you to our customers for attending and our Cask Trade hosts Simon, Jess & Phil.

Contemplating adding a Whisky Casks to your Investment Portfolio? Feel free to try before you buy. Contact the team today to arrange your very own tasting session in our Sampling Room casktrade.com/contact-us/

Clarendon House Estate – Jamaica Rum

Clarendon House Estate – Jamaica Rum

 

Clarendon Estate distillery in Jamaica is one of the four major rum producers on the island. It’s also part of the National Rums group. The bulk of the rum they produce goes off to be blended into various rum brands like Captain Morgan. However, they do produce their own very high-quality premium brand which is called Monymusk. This is a blend of much older-aged rum casks. At the distillery itself, they have a variety of different stills. From column stills producing very light rum, to pot stills producing the heavier more traditional Jamaican style rum. The Monymusk rum we recently tried in the office was a nine-year-old and came in at 62%… It had really aged well in the tropical heat with a lot of rich nutmeg and spice flavours. These were underpinned with pineapple and tobacco leaf.  

Clarendon Estate distillery is probably the least well-known of the four Jamaican producers. This is most likely due to them making rum for a variety of other companies’ brands. However, rum’s proven its worth and its versatility as a whole has attributed to its huge market growth, which is forecast to continue over the next five years and beyond. Clarendon Estate in particular we believe is one to watch. The pot still rum they produce is excellent and in our opinion, is well worth adding to any rum cask portfolio.

We currently have 2007 Clarendon Estate barrels on our stock list. To find out more about Rum Cask Investment, contact The Masters today!

Refined Rum Revolution

Refined Rum Revolution

Yo ho ho and a cask of rum!

Rum

What is rum? Is it white, or clear, and the essential ingredient to a much-loved Mojito and Daiquiri cocktails? Is it spiced and perfect when paired with a mixer like ginger beer or coke? Or, is rum dark and best enjoyed neat?

Rum is all of these things. Its versatility is one of the reasons for huge market growth which is forecast to continue over the next five years and beyond.

Welcome to the rum revolution

Rewind 40 years or so to when the first whiskies were being put into single casks aged in different wood.

Rum is now being matured in much the same way as whisky and it’s all about the wood. Sherry butts, wine barrels and Sauternes casks are all being used to age rum. These are to be sold in individually numbered, limited edition bottles.

However, the exciting thing about rum is there is a much wider variety available from around the world. as opposed to the fantastic but small regions of Scotland. This means more choice, more flavours and much more variety; albeit cask rum is only available to buy in small quantities.

Rum is following in the footsteps of cask-strength whisky. we believe this will be an exciting journey for connoisseurs, enthusiasts and the rum-curious.

Rums roots

Rum is the oldest distilled spirit. It was first made in the Caribbean and South America, before New England, and now it’s being made and enjoyed worldwide. Craft rum is increasingly becoming a firm favourite of whisky and spirit connoisseurs. Distillers continue to drive experimentation in the category and propel premiumisation.

Independent bottlers are seeing a demand for aged rum. Consumers are getting a thirst for an exciting and extensive range of flavours and ages from around the world.

The next big thing

For more than a decade, rum has been seen by many experts as the spirit that hasn’t quite broken through. However, in the last couple of years this seems to have changed. As with whisky it takes a little time for its popularity to expand from the experts to the new cognoscenti. then in turn from them to the general public. For proof of this, one just has to look at the expansion of rum on our shop shelves.

The audience is already becoming established as more and more limited edition bottles come to market, regular rum tastings are being hosted and even auctions are taking place.

When Cask Trade started in 2018 cask rum didn’t feature on the stock list. but now it’s an important part of the portfolio because of the demand.

Investment-grade

With the ascendance of Scotch whisky well and truly established the question is, what’s next? It’s perhaps not a matter of what’s next, but rather what is going to join Scotch at the top table. With gin being a white spirit, although it is popular, there is no asset to invest in and, by nature, gin can be produced quickly and easily. There is no waiting time, and it is this waiting time that gives the opportunity for an investment.

There has been an even greater expansion in the specialist retailers. Small batch rums are frequently seen and single cask, cask strength offerings sell out very quickly in a manner very reminiscent of whisky. The difference at the moment is that there are fewer well-known rum distilleries than there are global whisky distilleries by quite some way. As the demand rises, production is going to take some time to catch up. Added to this there are, as with whisky, closed distilleries like Caroni, and cult distilleries like Hampden. The bottle auction prices of these rums have increased dramatically over the last couple of years. And so the investment opportunities become obvious. It’s not a matter of the possibility of rum being the next big thing, simply a matter of where on the curve will you get in? Welcome to the rum revolution!

So far this year, Cask Trade has invested more than £500,000 in single cask rum following a demand from independent bottlers as consumers get a taste for it.

Managing Director of Cask Trade, Simon Aron, is confident cask-strength rum will have investment value in time but, as yet, this is untested.

“If rum was to follow the same path as whisky as it gets older and rarer it should appreciate in value. It’s difficult to know if this will happen in the same way as we are really at the beginning of the market. I am confident it will appreciate with age, we just don’t know at what rate. It was the same as with whisky about 40 years ago,” says Simon, who explains Cask Trade has bought rum casks from 15 different countries. These include those in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

Wish you were here?

Top tip

Barbados is the birthplace of rum, and it’s also where you’ll find the world’s finest distillery, Foursquare. This artisanal, family-run distillery produces legendary rum with a dry, rich, spice-forward style that is simply extraordinary. Their beautiful rum is naturally more aligned with cask strength styles, so it could be an obvious investment choice.

Among the fine rum casks available on the current stock list, the 2007 barrel of Foursquare Barbados Rum stands out.

Like with everything sold by Cask Trade, all rum casks are re-gauged and tasted by our spirits masters. The rum casks purchased have traceable provenance and are stored in bonded warehouses in the UK and will finish their life aging in a more temperate climate.

All the rums available are powerful and very high ABV and can be diluted in order to produce more bottles and add to the value of the cask.

The Cask Trade team are big believers in rum in terms of the taste, variety and quality and see rum casks as an extension of the portfolio moving forward.

Could cask rum add a little spice to your investment portfolio?

Tasting notes

Cask Trade’s Keeper of the Quaich and all-round spirits expert, Sir Colin Hampden-White, has had the pleasure of sampling some of our new cask rum. Like whisky, rum differs in style and so he has grouped these together as Fruity & Sweet, Complex & Aromatic, Funky and Estery.

Fruity & Sweet

Barbados Rum 2007 (Foursquare Distillery)

Nose: Orange marmalade, orchard fruits, wildflowers, coconut water

Palate: Orange chocolate, honeysuckle, apricot jam

Guyana Rum 2010 (Diamond Distillery)

Nose: Juicy white grape gummies, kumquats, candied ginger, banana fritters

Palate: Coconut shavings, grapefruit syrup, violet candies

Trinidad Rum 2010 (T.D.L. Distillery)

Nose: Banana cake, green mangoes, vanilla and creamy

Palate: Roasted almonds, pepper, chilli chocolate, hint of beeswax

Complex & Aromatic

Belize Rum 2006 (Travellers Distillery)

Nose: Vanilla sponge cake, roasted nuts, beef stock, tar

Palate: Sweet like marshmallow, accompanied with espresso coffee and honey-roasted nuts, stewed apples

Dominican Republic Rum 2010 (Acoholes Finos Dominicanos Distillery)

Nose: Cocoa, deep-roasted coffee beans, tangy syrup, eucalyptus ointment, nutmeg

Palate: Cigar box, tobacco, maple-smoked bacon, crème brûlée

Nicaragua Rum 2000 (Compania Licorera de Nicaragua Distillery)

Nose: Warm spices, cinnamon bun, pencil shavings, old wooden furniture, meringue

Palate: Chewing tobacco, aniseed, bonfire smoke, demerara sugar

Funky & Estery

Guyana Rum 2002 (Diamond Distillery)

Nose: Fermented fruits, rosehip wine, violets, lambic beer

Palate: Candied pineapple, sugar frosting, cherry liqueur, ripe melons

Jamaica Rum 2007 (Clarendon Estate Distillery)

Nose: Floral, white grapes, bandages, ink, fresh cane juice

Palate: Dampened cloth, musty, banana fritters, quince jelly

Line 'em up...

Newsflash

New to the price list:

 2010 Mauritius Rum from La Bourdonnaise Distillery in sherry butt

2013 Reunion Rum from Savanna Distillery in red wine barrels

2006 and 2010 Barbados Rum from Foursquare Distillery in Sauternes barrels

To find out more about Rum Cask Investment, contact The Masters today!

Cheese & Rum Pairing Night

Cheese & Rum Pairing Night

Cheese & Rum Pairing Night

Cheese and rum; a match made in heaven?

Perhaps seen as an unlikely pairing, when combined they complement each other perfectly – just ask the Masters, who hosted a delightful evening sampling some fine rums and rather decadent cheeses.

The line-up consisted of an eclectic mix from around the world; Chaource paired with Guyana Diamond (Port Mourant Still) 11 YO; truffled brie with Jamaican Clarendon Estate 13 YO; Mrs. Bell’s Blue with a Nicaragua 17 YO chaser and Barbadian Foursquare 12 YO paired with a french comté. There were also some bonus rums on the menu including Foursquare Principia and a Dictado 38-year-old
A good time was certainly enjoyed by all!

Cheese & Rum Pairing Night

New to rum and contemplating adding a cask to your Investment Portfolio? Feel free to try before you buy – contact the team today to arrange your very own tasting session in our sampling room casktrade.com/contact-us/