I think the only time you can really say that buying a cask from a distillery is an investment is if you're a retailer doing independant bottlings.
Otherwise, in my opinion buying a cask of whisky is simply bulk buying to get a reasonable discount!
There are exceptions to this rule, but isn't always the case. For example new distilleries generally will do cask sales to help build equity, but this doesn't always mean it's a good speculative investment. Arran Distillery found that demand for their whisky was high enough to approach original cask holders to buy back backs or do exchanges for other products.
However, it's worth being aware that buying a cask will at the end of the aging period leave you with a big bill for taxes, and the potetial for a lot of bottles of something undrinkable. By a lot of bottle I mean 150- 400+ depending on cask sizes.
What are the Costs Involved?
The cost of buying a cask and differ from Distillery to Distillery, and not all distilleries will sell casks to general public.
(*Updated July 2011*) The following distilleries do have cask buying programs for anyone over the Legal drinking age in Scotland or the country they are based:
They have a collection of different cask types available in the laddie shop. Prices vary between £1,300 & £2,200 for one of four cask types.
- Fresh Bourbon Barrel.
- French Oak Wine Cask.
- The Rhinns Edition 10th Anniversary Cask Offer. Limited to 200 casks (split between bourbon & wine fill). Approx 195ltrs of 30PPM spirit
- The Rhinns Edition 10th Anniversary Cask Offer. Limited to 200 casks (split between bourbon & wine fill). Approx 225ltrs of 30PPM spirit - Never before offered, filled into Sweet Wine Cask.
Isle of Arran
Isle of Barra