“I just bought a cask of Laphroaig.”
“A bottle, you mean.”
“Nono. A cask.”
Whoa indeed. This type of entirely natural conversation is becoming more common. Buying bottles of immaculately presented whisky for drinking/entertaining/bragging is a well regarded hobby. But… cask purchase? Buying an entire cask, potentially containing a few hundred bottles – that’s another kettle of anchovies entirely. And yet this is where we find ourselves in the 2020s – private individuals are buying casks of whisky for a wide variety of reasons. And at Cask 88, we’re here to help you do it.
This is the second in a series of blogs that will cover the four tenets of the entire Cask 88 journey From Cask to Glass: Selection, Purchase, Storage and Enjoyment. So, how exactly do you go about purchasing a large wooden cask weighing at least a quarter of a ton, which you aren’t allowed to take home?
The Cask Purchase Process
Having passed through stage one, you will have formed a working relationship with one of our sales team. You’ll have given them an idea of the kind of cask you’re after; from the style of whisky you personally enjoy, to the fond memories you may have of visiting a friendly distillery among the rolling Speyside hills. Casks and people: both are unique, so we want to make sure the best partnerships are made.
Your sales manager will not only know what cask you’re looking for specifically, but also other casks that might potentially fit your brief. They’ll keep their ear to the ground, and when the right cask becomes available, you’ll get a message over your preferred medium – email, phone or WhatsApp. If you like what you see, just give the word and we’ll kick start stage 2.
Your Purchase Agreement
Your first cask purchase with us will need you to set up an account with Cask 88, under which this and any future casks will be registered. We’ll require a copy of photo ID and a proof of address for due diligence against money laundering.
Then our admin team begins drafting up a purchase agreement between us and you, for which we’ll need a full name and billing address. This document will include your personal details, details of the cask itself and all the terms and conditions of purchase. Once ready, you will be sent a digital copy of this agreement via docusign, which you can sign with an e-signature. This purchase agreement will be the cornerstone of the cask sale, and a legally binding proof of purchase and ownership of the cask.
A deposit for 10% of the cask’s value is payable by card and that’s it: the cask is secured.
With the cask secured, the remaining 90% of the balance will then be due within 3-5 business days. This can be paid by bank transfer for no fee. For the convenience of our international customer base, we use an account with a Singapore bank that accepts payments in all currencies.
Once payment is received and cleared, the transfer of ownership process begins.
Transfer of Ownership
The purchase agreement is the legally binding contract between us, which recognises your status as the owner of the cask while it is under our custodianship. No alcohol duties are paid on maturing casks of whisky until they are bottled, so there is a considerable amount of red tape involved in transfers of ownership to ensure that the whisky is fully protected and accountable during the transfer.
Cask 88 has an account with a bonded warehouse in Speyside, as well as relationships with distilleries and logistics companies. It will take us approximately 8-12 weeks to resolve the paperwork with the warehouse where the cask initially was stored, which releases it to our custodianship and allows us to move it to our warehouse space.
Once the cask is signed over, we will generate an ownership certificate for you, which will be sent digitally first, and will be followed by a physical copy in the mail soon afterwards.
It’s time for the cask to move home.
Now that we are recognised as the custodians of your cask, we will arrange for a transfer of the cask to our partnered dunnage warehouse near Craigellachie, Speyside. Once there, the cask will be loaded onto the stows by hand, joining hundreds of casks of all ages, sizes and styles. They will mature together in the cool, dim warehouse; protected from the biting Speyside winters and cloying, lukewarm summers. While there, we will be able to check up on your cask as it matures, arrange for samples to be drawn and sent to you, and maybe even organise a visit to sample the cask in person. The privileges of the cask owner!
And there it is, the cask is now yours. It will remain in the cask, maturing, in the bonded warehouse until such time as you deem it ready for its grand debut in public. Those are stories for another time. For now – go forth and make good use of the bragging rights that owning an entire cask of Scotch Whisky brings you!
Next time on the Cask to Glass journey: Storage. What your cask gets up to in the warehouse, and what can you do with it while it matures.