The Angels’ Share: 10 Questions to Ask Your Whisky Broker

by Aaron Damiano Sparkes
Founder of Whisky 1901

The angels' share

It might sound sweet, but despite the name it could leave a sour taste when it comes to your whisky investment if you aren’t armed with the right information.

To ensure you make the most from any cask investment, we’ve put together 10 key questions to ask your whisky investment partner.

What is the angels’ share?

The well-known term refers to the portion of whisky that evaporates from the cask during aging. As highlighted in our ‘role of a regauge’ blog last month, as whisky matures in barrels, a small amount of alcohol evaporates through the porous wood, along with some water.

This evaporation is typically no more than 2% alcohol by volume (ABV) per annum. This is referred to as the angels’ share.

In recent years, concerns have also been raised about the environmental impact of this evaporation. But luckily a report in 2023 by the SNP government deemed the risks to be ‘minor’.

Why should I care?

For anyone looking at how to invest in whisky, understanding the impact of the angels’ share is important. This is because it affects the quantity and quality of the whisky remaining in the cask over time.

While any evaporation can result in a reduction in volume, it also concentrates the flavours and character of the whisky, potentially increasing its value.

Understanding the angels’ share will help investors gauge the expected yield and profitability of their whisky cask investment over time. It’s a natural and normal part of the whisky aging process, and all adds to the mystique and allure of this alternative asset class.


Key questions to ask your broker

When considering whisky cask investment, it’s important to gather as much information as possible about the angels’ share and how it might affect your returns.

We’ve compiled 10 questions to ask your whisky investment partner, to ensure you have everything you need to make an informed decision.

  1. What is the typical rate of evaporation for the whisky casks you offer for investment?
  2. How does the angels’ share impact the expected ROI over the lifespan of the cask?
  3. Do you take steps to minimise evaporation, such as using specific types of casks or storage conditions?
  4. Can you provide historical data or case studies showing the impact of evaporation on previous whisky cask investments?
  5. How do you account for the angels’ share in your investment projections and valuations?
  6. Are there any insurance or risk mitigation strategies in place to protect investors from significant losses due to evaporation?
  7. Do you offer any guarantees or assurances regarding the angels’ share and its impact on whisky investment returns?
  8. Can investors visit the warehouse or facility where the whisky casks are stored to see firsthand how the casks are managed?
  9. Are there any additional fees or costs associated with managing the angels’ share, such as topping up casks or adjusting investment strategies?
  10. What measures do you have in place to ensure transparency and accountability regarding whisky evaporation and its impact on investment performance?

Having answers to these questions will provide a better understanding for investors of how the angels’ share could impact their investment. Only then will you be able to make an informed investment decision.

Get in touch for further insights into how we manage our casks and the measures in place at our warehouse facilities to protect every last drop of your investment.


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