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6th August 2019

Whisky Cask Company Serves You a Guide to Whisky, Straight

There are a huge variety of whiskies on the market, and it can be difficult to know where to begin with different whisky products. Single malt, blended, Scotch, American and Irish whiskies all appear on our shelves, but one must delve deeper into the differences between these before making the choice on which to drink, or even which to invest in.

Luxury All the Way in Single Malt

Single malt Scotch whisky is universally viewed as a luxury product due to the artisanal nature of the production process that results in lower volumes of spirit and higher prices. There are strict regulations around the distilling and ageing of Scotch. It is a legal requirement in Scotland that the distilling process for single malt uses only one grain — barley. This preserves the traditional, time-honoured methods of producing Scotland’s famous amber spirit.

In contrast to the exclusive use of barley for single malt production, blended whisky allows for much more flexibility. Different grains including wheat, corn and rye can be used in varying quantities to achieve different flavours. Blended whiskies can be produced at higher quantities on a more industrial scale, using cheaper grains and with less ageing. The resulting lower price means that blended whiskies make up 92% of world demand.

Blended whiskies also do not require the same amount of time to age as single malts, which again brings the price down for distillers. Even though single malts are generally considered far superior in taste, blending also gives whisky brands the opportunity for more consistency in the product they are distributing.

Individual casks of whisky have their own distinct flavour that is affected by the cask itself, as well as factors like the environment and climate. Distillers can make certain that the finished product that they bottle has a consistent flavour by following the basic recipe for their blend and making adjustments in the mix to ensure consistency in flavour. They then use blind tasters to ensure that the new batch is indistinguishable from previous blends.

Consistency can be an advantage point for blending whisky when you are mass-producing the spirit, but it does not compare to the individuality and craftsmanship that comes with single malt. Although the batch process of producing single malt whisky means that it cannot be produced in the large quantities that blended whiskies can, the slower process means that you are left with a product that is unique, special and hard to replicate. It is not only a pleasure to drink, but as an investment it improves with age and increases in value due to its rarity and luxury.

Whiskies From Around the World

Whiskies are available from all over the world, with Bourbon, Rye and Irish whiskies, meaning there is a diverse market with flavours to suit all tastes. However, the growth in availability in other whisky spirits has not affected the popularity of Scotch in any way. According to Karen Betts, the Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, ‘More Scotch whisky is enjoyed across the world than American, Canadian and Irish whiskies combined.’

Global Appeal of Scotch Whisky

Scotch has an indisputable global appeal, particularly in the Asian market where 25 bottles of Scotch are exported to China every minute, and single malt Scotch whisky dominates the market in Taiwan. The strong growth in export numbers that Scotch has seen in recent years, along with its popularity in the auction market, is mainly down to the increasing global interest in premium products.

The strict rules surrounding Scotch production could perhaps be seen as restrictive, meaning that the production process hasn’t been open to innovation and creativity in the way that American whisky has been. However, there is a reason that Scotch regulations are so strict — because the payoff is so extraordinary. The process of distilling single malt Scotch whisky has been protected over time. With single malt Scotch you aren’t just purchasing a premium, high quality drink, you are investing in years of craftsmanship and a growing global industry that shows no sign of decline in future years.

23rd July 2019

Whisky Cask Company Plans Autumn Roadshows in the Far East

The Whisky Cask Company look towards their future in the global market this week with an exciting announcement of preliminary details for their upcoming roadshows in the Far East.

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22nd July 2019

Whisky Cask Company Brings in Leading Whisky Experts

The launch of the Whisky Cask Company brings together some of the top names in the whisky industry. Whisky experts David Harvey and Stuart Nickerson have teamed up with Whisky Cask Company, to bring single malt to the global market.

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19th July 2019

Whisky Cask Company Launches to Fill Gap in the Market for Premium Quality Scotch

As demand for premium single malt Scotch whisky continues to grow, one new company looks set to become a leading contender in the industry, by combining both tradition and innovation.

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5th July 2019

Whisky Cask Company Pours Insights Into Scotch Whisky

Scotch whisky making is a craft with two things at its heart – taste and quality. Scotch whisky’s unrivalled quality owes itself to the fact that the art of whisky production developed in Scotland hundreds of years ago. The purity of Scottish water, the fresh air and even the country’s damp climate are perfect for whisky production, giving Scotch whisky a complexity in flavour that other countries are unable to replicate. Scotland has an unparalleled variety of whisky to offer. The multitudes of different distilleries across the country all produce their own unique flavours, and each distillery’s various products can vary significantly between themselves. Younger whiskies tend to have more distillery character, whereas an older whisky’s taste is influenced more by the cask in which it aged.

In the same way that the art of whisky making has improved over time, whisky matures in the barrel as time goes on to improve in taste and become a more valuable product. The spirit draws out the naturally occurring oils in the wood as it matures, and therefore, the choice of wood for the barrel affects the flavour profile of the finished whisky. The wood, usually oak, is also porous to allow air to permeate the cask and infuse with the whisky to eliminate rougher flavours and produce a more mellow-tasting spirit. The improvement in taste is a significant factor in the increase in price with an older whisky. However, another influence on the higher price is the fact that the older a whisky is, the rarer it is. As whisky ages in the barrel, a portion of it disappears due to the natural evaporation of the liquid, and this is known as the ‘Angels Share’. The longer whisky ages, the more of it disappears. The less that is left once the angels have had their share, the rarer and sought after the whisky generally is!

Whisky Regions

Single Malt Scotch whiskies is divided into five groups according to which region of Scotland the producing distillery is located. The five regions are Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside and Campbeltown, and each region’s whiskies have their own distinct characteristics. The Highlands are Scotland’s biggest whisky region and boasts lots of different styles and flavours due to its sheer geographical size. It offers an array of styles and tastes that is unmatched worldwide, and the rolling landscapes of the Scottish Highlands reflect back in the variation of its whiskies. Due to the region’s vast size, it’s divided into four sub-regions of the compass points, each with distinct flavours. However, despite variations depending on the distillery’s location within the Highlands region, whiskies from the Highlands are well known to be robust and full-bodied, with a beautiful depth to their flavour.

Highlands water the purest in Scotland

No one knows exactly what element it is that makes whisky from the Highlands so special, but it is often thought to be the purity of the water used in production. The water in the Highlands is some of the purest in Scotland, as it runs through the volcanic rock in the mountains. Even in the modern day, distilleries throughout Scotland stick to the age-old tradition of using the pure, local spring water throughout the production process. Also unique to the production of Scotch is the use of peat, which gives the whisky a smoky flavour when it is used in the kiln while the malt is drying. These traditional production elements that the Scotch industry has perfected over time work together to give the distinctive, special spirit that is still enjoyed worldwide today.

26th June 2019

Whisky Cask Company Sees Spirited Growth in the Scotch Whisky Industry

Export value rose to almost £2 billion in the first half of 2018 and continued to climb. The largest export destination by value was the United States, followed by France and Singapore, demonstrating the cross-continental strength of the market and just how much of a global appeal Scotch has.

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21st June 2019

Scotch Whisky Tourism at All-Time High

Scotch whisky tourism has hit an all-time high as distilleries welcomed over two million visits from tourists for the first time. ‘Growing curiosity’ about Scotch whisky, combined with a general growth in Scottish tourism, led to 2.05m visits to distilleries in 2018 – an increase of 6.1% on the previous year. An additional 115,000 visits were made to Scotch distilleries during the year, with tourists spending an extra £7.43m compared to 2017.

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17th June 2019

Scotch Whisky Regulations to Allow Greater Range Of Casks

Following a public consultation conducted by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the rules that govern Scotch whisky have been amended to allow a greater range of casks for maturation in a move designed to create more “flexibility”.

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12th June 2019

Single Malts to Drive Whisky Sales in UK

British drinkers’ interest in single malt Scotch and American whiskey is expected to drive whisky sales to £2.44 billion in the next three years. In 2018, British consumers purchased 89.2 million bottles of whisky. It’s now predicted that figure will increase by 2.4m bottles by 2022, as blended whisky drinkers continue to ‘trade up’ to single malts and explore more premium American whiskeys.

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11th June 2019

The Rise of the Whisky Trail

With whisky tourism at an all-time high, Scotland’s distilleries are banding together to create dram-packed regional itineraries for the curious tourist. Kirsten Amor explores why this community spirit is good news for both the industry and whisky lovers alike.

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13th May 2019

Dalmore Scotch Whisky ‘L’Anima’ Sells for £108,900 at Sotheby’s Auction

A one of a kind bottle of Dalmore Scotch whisky, Dalmore ‘L’Anima’, has been sold at auction for £108,900. Sold by Sotheby’s in London earlier this month, the bottle was a one-off produced by The Dalmore and Massimo Bottura, the chef-patron of Osteria Francescana, which has twice been voted the world’s best restaurant.

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13th May 2019

Is Edinburgh the New Scotch Tourism Capital?

Edinburgh is cementing itself as a whisky destination with four new distillery projects and the multi-million-pound Johnnie Walker experience, but could the city become Scotland’s new whisky tourism capital? Becky Paskin reports.

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10th May 2019

Best New Whiskies To Drink This Spring

This spring is an especially auspicious time for whisky enthusiasts seeking something new. On shelf at your local liquor store are a parade of labels you probably haven‘t seen before. Many of them are worth taking home with you. And since these releases run the gamut of prices—ranging from the cost of two tickets to movie night all the way up to the re-sale value of a lightly used car—there‘s something to satisfy every budget. Here‘s a look at the season‘s most exciting offerings, and what you can expect to taste when you‘re ready to pour.

Coopers‘ Craft Barrel Reserve — $32.99

This unique offering from Brown-Forman (the same folks who bring you Old Forester, Jack Daniel‘s, and Woodford Reserve) collects its robust caramel and vanilla flavors courtesy of chiseled oak staves. Special barrels built at the brand‘s very own cooperage are scored with grooves, allowing the liquid to penetrate deeper into the wood, pulling out more flavors as it ages. Bottled at 100-proof, it‘s a sturdy sipping whiskey designed to showcase the artistry of barrel-making. It began a slow rollout in select markets this January, but you can expect to spot the label from coast to coast before year‘s end.

WhistlePig PiggyBack — $49.99

This April release marks the first from the Vermont-based producer since the passing of its legendary master distiller, Dave Pickerell. It‘s a younger variation on the brand‘s flagship rye—this one carrying a 6-year age statement as opposed to the original‘s 10. Designed to play well in Manhattans and Boulevardiers, the liquid maintains a strong cinnamon spice in the finish which also plays perfectly well when sipped neat. It‘s 96.56-proof in the bottle is a nod to Pickerell‘s birth year, 1956.

Bulleit Rye 12-Year-Old — $49.99

In the opposite direction, Bulleit just announced a rye with an older age than its popular flagship. Initially carving a name for itself in the bourbon category, the Diageo-owned brand has found great success delving into that other American whiskey. Expanding its presence there further still, this limited release is a dry and oaky offering that ends in toffee and graham cracker spice. Overall, an assertive entry point into the world of super-premium ryes. Bulleit has yet to announce this one as a permanent fixture, so you‘ll want to grab it before it goes away.

Starward — Nova Australian Single Malt — $55

Australian single malt is positioning itself to be the next big category of world whisky. This is the country‘s first major release in American markets, one that is largely shaped by maturation in ex-shiraz barrels from Down Under. It demonstrates a surprising degree of complexity and tongue-tickling astringency for a spirit that spent not much more than three years in wood. It‘s worth getting your hands on now; if Australian single malt goes the way of Japanese whisky, it won‘t sit on shelves for long.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 018 — $84.99

Barrell has earned a reputation as one of the country‘s premiere non-distilling producers. They don‘t have to make the stuff, when they‘re this good at sourcing and blending it. To wit, this 11-year-old gem just took home Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Billed as a ‘cinnamon bomb‘, Batch 018 is a careful combination of bourbons aged in both Kentucky and Tennessee. The younger liquid in the mix has bright tropical notes, balanced out by the structure of a spicier spirit—aged for upwards of 15 years in an American rickhouse. Together there is complexity and backbone in a full-flavored sipper, clocking in at a whopping 111.56 barrel-proof. Add a drop or two of water and enjoy.

The GlenDronach 15 Year Old Revival — $89.99

Want to know why this highland scotch maker has amassed a cult following? In a word: sherry. Want to taste it for yourself? Procure a bottle of the recently re-released Revival. This one went away briefly in 2015 as old stocks dwindled but its return is a triumphant reminder of what we‘ve been missing. All of the distillate here matures in wood sourced from the sherry bodegas of Jerez, Spain. Revival spent time in butts that formerly held Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso. What rolls out of the wood is a rich whisky with dark and sweet notes of figs, dates and raisins. An exquisite sipper that could still be a bargain at twice the price.

Orphan Barrel Forager‘s Keep — $399.99

Orphan Barrel specializes in bringing to market notable whiskies from now-defunct distilleries. These shuttered warehouses were confined to North America, housing extra old barrels of rye, bourbon, Canadian whisky. Now they dive headfirst into the world of scotch with this 26-year-old single malt from Speyside. Pittyvaich closed permanently in 1993, and was not long for this world. In fact, this limited release now carries more age than its distillery ever did. Now available for pre-order, this gentle liquid meets the mouth with a pronounced creaminess and sustained notes cedar and citrus pith. It‘ll hit shelves, briefly, on June 3rd of this year.

The Last Drop Distillers 1969 Glenrothes Single Malt Whisky — $6,250

If budgetary constraints are of no concern, you ought to consider the newest release from The Last Drop. The London-based company is a connoisseur‘s dream brought to life; dedicated to the procurement of impossibly rare stocks of aged spirit that will never exist again. This month they unveiled a 50-year-old Speyside malt sourced entirely from two casks at the Glenrothes distillery. The first barrel yielded just 130 bottles of whisky. The second, 141. So an allotment of only 271 will make its way across the globe. If you‘re lucky enough to snag one you can expect smooth texture, light hints of cigar smoke, and the ineffable umami complexities that only half a century‘s worth of maturation can deliver.

22nd January 2019

Whisky Barrels — A Promising Alternative Investment

How much would you pay for a cask of rare Scotch whisky? For some, it seems, there is no limit when it comes to the liquid gold. Earlier this month, an anonymous buyer in Hong Kong paid an incredible, auction-record £285,000 for a sherry cask filled with a 30-year-old Macallan single malt. Its contents, if emptied, would work out at a whopping £1,000 per 70cl bottle. However, other individuals have paid even more for a cask of the prestige alcoholic spirit, with one Scotch whisky brokerage reporting a sale over £500,000. Some industry experts believe there are £1m casks out there waiting to be discovered.

So why are people willing to spend such extortionate amounts of money on the spirit? The answer isn't as straightforward as you may think. For some, casks are merely an investment, well suited for whisky enthusiast or simply an individual looking for an alternative investment. For others, such as connoisseurs and collectors, there's more significance on the experience - tasting a spirit that has been ageing in oak casks for decades upon decades. Although, rarity is also highly sought after. That may sound weird when an estimated three billion litres of the beverage is busy maturing in storage at one given time, which is enough to fill 1,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools. However, in reality, much of it is relatively new, keeping in mind that it requires at least three years of maturation before a spirit can legally take on the name Scotch.

Those operating at the top end, of the extremely rare whisky market, says “there is no shortage of interest from potential buyers”. Analyst and broker Rare Whisky 101 (RW101) has noted increased demand for "quality casks" from connoisseurs, collectors and investors in recent times. Along with, The Dunfermline-based firm, co-founded in 2014 by Andy Simpson and David Robertson, says its past deals with brands such as Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Macallan and Springbank have achieved an average cask price of more than £130,000.

So, is it worth investing in?

Current investors has this to say “whisky is an attractive investment opportunity due to being a slower, long-term industry like gold rather than a rapidly evolving one.” This style of the market is known to provide investors with high returns, and offers very little risk, due to the price of whiskies ever-increasing with age.

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