When is the Best Time to Sell a Whisky Cask?

The best time to sell a whisky cask

You can sell a whisky cask at any time. It's an active market, with plenty of demand. So you should be able to find a buyer, whenever you want to sell. That said, here are five tips to work out when the best time to sell your whisky cask may be.

1. Does it taste ready to bottle?

The final destination for all whisky casks is to be bottled, and then enjoyed. Tasting your whisky while it ages will help you gauge whether it has reached peak maturation. That time will vary for every cask, depending on many factors - from the size of the whisky cask, to where it is ageing. If your cask tastes as if it is ready to bottle now, then this may be an ideal time to sell. You can offer a ready-matured whisky to the market, and command the best possible price.

2. Have you held your whisky cask for a fair amount of time?

Like all investments, you should hold your whisky cask for the medium to long term. Buying a cask and then looking to sell it days, weeks, or months later is not a wise idea; you should be thinking in years. If you have held your cask for five or more years, then the quality of the whisky will have improved, and the market will have evolved. This may mean you can realise good returns when you sell.

3. Has your whisky cask reached a milestone birthday?

While whisky can be bottled at any age, there are certain ages that brands and bottlers look for. Think of what you may have seen on the shelves of the supermarket; what ages do you often see? Key milestone birthdays include:

  • 3 years old (the age at which whisky can legally be called scotch)
  • 12 years old
  • 15 years old
  • 18 years old
  • 21 years old
  • 25 years old
  • 30 years old

If your whisky cask hasn't yet reached a milestone birthday, that isn't a blocker to selling. It's simply true that selling at a milestone birthday can be a particularly good time to sell.

4. Has a particular distillery seen a boom in interest?

As with any collectable, the more popular the name, the better the selling price. If you were lucky enough to buy a cask of Macallan a decade or two ago, you will now enjoy a brand name premium. Or, more recently, say you bought a cask of Bimber four years ago, again, you'll benefit from their increased popularity. 

Brand name is not everything, quality remains even more important. But, if you can ride a wave of increased brand recognition this may be an ideal time to sell your whisky cask.

5. What is the ABV of the whisky in your cask?

When casks are first filled, the whisky is usually around 65%. As the cask ages, some of the whisky evaporates. This often means that the ABV will slowly decrease over time. It's an entirely normal phenomenon and does not impact the quality of the whisky. 

There is, however, one important consideration when it comes to vintage casks: the 40% mark. Whisky has to be a minimum of 40% ABV, otherwise, it cannot be bottled as a whisky. Very old whiskies (we're talking 30 years plus) start creeping down towards that 40% mark. If your cask is 44% or lower, you may want to consider selling now. You don't want it to drop to below 40%.

Do you want to sell your whisky cask?

If you have a cask that you'd like to sell, Spiritfilled is here to help. Spiritfilled is an expert cask broker that buys and sells whisky casks every day. We have a wide network of buyers, both private and industry. We can help you realise the best possible selling price, quickly and efficiently. Get in contact with Spiritfilled today for a free, no-obligation, quote on your whisky cask.

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