How much whisky do you need?

Well, how much do you buy then? 1 – 2 bottles a month?
How’s about 330. In 1 day?

Nope I’m not a dealer or a shop owner. Just your average man really. But to do this, to buy a cask (pr Hogshead to be precise – which is why 330 bottles) you need to know the right person. And that’s at the consumer end.


Ok, so I haven’t bought 330 bottles, but, like many people I have made an investment into a cask, or 2..
Like so many before me, and so many who are yet to succumb, I got an obsession for the good stuff, and took it from step to step. Well, this particular step went into my head one midweek night sat at the bar of the Port Charlotte Hotel, Islay. Musing with a friend, I quizzed him over the 4 or so pints we had on money to be made, lost and drunk by purchasing spirit and he told me of the casks he’d bought.

This idea stayed with me for less than a year, and before i knew, was the proud part-owner of a hogshead of young spirit. (In-fact, it will reach minimum maturation within a few months..). Despite the prolonged tasting session and few pints of beer, this was undertaken with a great sense of planning and logic:

1/ We set our budget
2/ We had a vague idea of what make we wanted
3/ We knew and understood the costs
4/ We had an plan to use the bottled spirit
5/ The plan was legal.

Ok, so point 4 and 5 were vague at that point, but we thought “hey-ho” and went for it.

In the sober light of day the following morning, sample in pocked, wallet abused, I was able to reflect on our findings;

Just the cask of spirit alone is the tip of the iceberg. Warehousing is a small cost too, but you beed to also think about bottling, labelling and distribution. However, the biggest is Customs and Excise. As soon as you bottle-up, duty is due to Her Majesty.

This could be debated all year and then some. Will it be good? There’s so many influencing factors to determine this.

What on earth are you going to do with over 300 bottles of Whisky?
.. to quote my wife. Good question though.
This is where you need friends, weddings, parties, whisky circles, societies and so on because realistically – WHAT WILL YOU DO?
And consider this – if you buy, mature (in a bonded warehouse in scotland), bottle, label and ship 330 bottles of whisky and work out it’s say £28.00 per bottle –  and you think “It’s worth £35.00…” then stop now. Yes, it may have a retail value of £35, IF it wasn’t bought from a stranger in a pub with a half hearted attempt at label design. Yep, there’s a reason why brands are brands and have identity; it represents something. Something that’s reflected by years of work, reputation, review, recommendation, quality, structure and so on..
Oh, and also there’s the small part of a law regarding the distribution of alcohol. Other than that odd bottle on eBay – you need a licence…

So, in short.
Want some whisky but don’t have 299 mates who want the same? Go to a shop – it may be easier for you..!


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