Buying or selling casks of Scotch Whisky

There are only a few whisky makers left who offer individuals or whisky clubs to buy individual casks.

Depending on the whisky brand and maturity of the product in the cask - whether is fresh spirit or already aged whisky - the initial investment might be fairly moderate. It will usually include storage for the first 10 years but one should not underestimate the time and effort needed to have it bottled and shipped. In addition, buyers should plan for costs for drawing occasional samples to check the maturing progress, the final bottling, applicable taxes and transport.

If the final destination of the whisky is outside of the UK, different regulations might apply for bringing it into the country and it is advisable to contact a specialised whisky importer early on.

Sample calculation for a cask of whisky

So what would it cost to buy a cask of whisky?

It will depend on a number of factors, such as

  • general availability of the distillery's whisky from which you want your private cask
  • the size and type of the cask you are looking for (quarter cask, hogshead, barrel... bourbon or sherry re-fill etc.)
  • if it is a freshly filled or already a few years matured cask of whisky
  • applicable taxes, fees, handling costs

Thus, the following sample calculation may give you only a general idea based on a standard cask of a "not-too-famous" whisky:

Sample calculation

e.g. 200 l Bourbon-Barrel

approx. yield of bottles220

Initial investment

4.200 €

Bottling (bottles, labels, corks, handling)2.000 €
Transport   600 €
Taxes on alcohol (Germany)* at 60 vol%1.200 €
Net cost8.000 €

Total cost incl. 19% VAT  (Germany)

9.520 €

It covers average costs and taxes as of summer 2023 which may vary in various aspects. Any particular cask will need to be calculated based on the actual cost situation at the time of offer.

And after all, we must not forget that a cask of whisky is a raw food product, subject to a multitude of environmental effects during the maturing process: The angels' share will take its toll in quantity as well as %vol, and you won't know the exact output of litres until the bottling. During the maturing process you would want to get an occasional sample from your cask to see how the whisky matures and decide when you want it to come out of the cask.

Do you want to buy or sell a cask of whisky?

Don't hesitate to contact us if you are looking for special casks of Scotch single malt or should you already be the proud owner of a whisky barrel that you want to sell.