Frequently Asked

How much do I need to invest?

Whisky cask investing is a diverse field with opportunities for many different investors. Whisky 1901 only works with the top 20-40 distilleries in Scotland. Prices start at around GBP £5,000.00. Typically, most typical purchases are in a range of GBP £30,000-£50,000 although they can start much higher.

What’s the time horizon?

Generally, the longer you hold a cask the more the whisky in it improves and therefore the greater the return. Whisky 1901 recommends a minimum 5-10 year investment.

How do I realise my investment?

When the time comes time to exit, investors have several options: - Sell back to whisky brands. Distillers often ‘run short’ of stock - Sell to independent bottlers - Sell to other cask investors. Some may wish to leapfrog their way to older casks, others may wish to limit the supply of a certain variety - Place it in an auction, with a minimum reserve price - Bottle and brand the whisky as your own, then sell it on the retail market or simply enjoy it

Do I have to re-sell through Whisky 1901?

Not necessarily, although of course, we’d prefer that you do. Whisky 1901 make ten percent on the sale of the cask, only on the profit made.

How do I monitor my investment?

You’ll receive Investment Updates every quarter keeping you in touch with current Whisky market performance. Every two years, you’ll receive analysis of your specific investment detailing projected ROI based on current market prices.

What factors affect cask value?

In seeking an investment with the best prospects for appreciation, there are eight key factors to consider: 1. Year of production 2. Age 3. Distillery 4. Barrel type 5. Original Litres of Alcohol (OLA). The number of litres of pure alcohol originally placed in the cask 6. Remaining (or Re-gauged) Litres of alcohol (RLA). The litres of pure alcohol remaining in the cask (see ‘Angels’ Share’ below) 7. Alcohol by Volume (ABV). A standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in any given volume 8. Bulk litres. The combined total of alcohol and liquid.

What is the ‘angels’ share’?

As whisky matures in its cask, a small amount evaporates into the wood, which is porous. Usually, this evaporation is small, not more than 2% p.a.

What about capital gains tax?

As far as the UK is concerned, Capital Gains Tax is not an issue The ‘angels’ share’ phenomenon means our tax department (HMRC) classes them as ‘wasting assets’ which aren’t liable for CGT. A wasting asset has a lifespan of 50 years or less.

What about customs duty and other taxes?

UK’s HMRC levies a customs duty on alcohol, currently of GBP28.74 per litre of pure alcohol. The UK’s Value Added Tax (VAT) also applies. However, as long as your cask is stored in, or transported between, HMRC licensed (bonded) warehouses, duty and VAT are both suspended. They’re not payable until the cask is removed from bond eg. if you choose to bottle it and sell it.

What are ‘bonded warehouses’?

Bonded warehouses are licensed and regulated under the HMRC WOWGR regime (see below). Goods in them are free from duty and VAT.

How do I know a warehouse is HMRC licensed?

It will hold a WOWGR licence (Warehousekeepers and Owners of Warehoused Goods Regulations). This is awarded by HMRC to businesses meeting their stringent requirements. Whisky 1901 and its warehousing partners all hold WOWGR licenses, which means we take responsibility for the payment of any duty to HMRC. Whisky 1901’s WOWGR licence is available upon request.

How is storage managed?

To remain classed as ‘Scotch’ whisky, the law requires that casks are kept in Scotland in warehouses ‘bonded’ by HMRC, the UK tax authority (that is because UK duty and VAT will not have been paid yet). Conditions in these warehouses are maintained at optimum levels for whisky maturation and the condition, content and value of casks are checked regularly. Whisky 1901 covers your storage costs for the first five years. If you choose to hold your cask for longer than that, it is a charge of £2.00 per cask per week for storage and insurance.

Will I be able to view my cask?

In most cases If your cask is held by a distillery, you can easily arrange a visit through their visitor centre. Most other HMRC-bonded warehouses are also happy to arrange visits.

What about insurance?

Along with storage, Whisky 1901 covers your insurance costs, (covering fire, theft or accidental damage) for the first five years.

Are cask whisky investments regulated?

Other than HMRC’s duty and VAT (mentioned above) no other regulator oversees cask whisky investing. You should avoid firms making extravagant claims about returns, those not on the WOWGR register, and those unwilling to provide a Delivery Order. You should also seek your own, independent financial and legal advice before proceeding with a purchase.

How do I, or my heirs, establish ownership?

You’ll receive an invoice, a receipt, a certificate of title, a Unique Cask Number and a ‘Delivery Order’, which combined constitute firm legal proof of your ownership of the cask. All this paperwork will include your cask’s unique number and most recent information. In the event of your death, your whisky casks will be considered part of your estate. Whisky 1901 Ltd works alongside a legal law firm in London who specialise in commercial law. To protect and facilitate the transfer of ownership of every cask purchase made by Whisky 1901's clients and suppliers. In order to provide a clear record that the title to the cask(s) has(have) passed to you legally from our end.

What if Whisky 1901 closes or is taken over?

Your cask remains your property, in your name. It is not a Whisky 1901 asset that could be sold to pay tax, or satisfy receivers. The customer is the legal and beneficial owner of the cask(s).

What if I change my mind?

You can request a full refund up to fourteen days after purchase.

Why should I work with Whisky 1901?

You can feel reassured working with Whisky 1901 for a range of reasons: - Expertise. Our brokers are all trained and qualified, with all the relevant industry accreditations. They offer you the benefit of many years’ experience in the whisky trade—combined with a personal passion for this unique business - Established. - Best-practices. Whisky 1901 and its warehousing partners all hold WOWGR warehousing licenses. We also provide you with the full range of paperwork required to establish your ownership of your cask, including the all-important ‘Delivery Order’. Partners. Whisky 1901 is part of the Forbes business council. Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honours. - Security. Whisky 1901 Ltd works alongside a legal law firm in London who specialise in commercial law. To protect and facilitate the transfer of ownership of every cask purchase made by Whisky 1901's clients and suppliers. In order to provide a clear record that the title to the cask(s) has(have) passed to you legally from our end.

Can I meet the Whisky 1901 team face- to-face?

Of course. Whisky 1901 operate an open door policy and welcome you to visit our Knightsbridge office at your convenience. Our brokers are happy to meet with you here in London at any time or in other locations by arrangement.

Are there any guarantees?

Whisky casks do not come with any guarantees. Any company offering any type of guarantee would be misleading. The price of whisky can up as well as down over time as there are many factors that influence markets.

What does OLA/RLA mean?

OLA stands for ‘Original Litres of Alcohol’ and RLA stands for ‘Regauged Litres of Alcohol’. OLA refers to the number of litres of pure alcohol which were initially placed into the cask and RLA represents the litres of pure alcohol remaining in the cask after a regauge has been made.

What is ABV?

Alcohol by volume (ABV) is a metric used to determine the alcohol content in an alcoholic beverage. The measurement shows what percentage of the beverage’s total volume is pure alcohol.

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