I’ve long been fascinated with the idea of buying a cask. In concept it’s a solid deal – buy a cask full of new-make spirit at today’s prices and when it is ready you’ll have more whisky than you can shake a stick at.
Bruichladdich, Kilchoman, Isle of Arran, and Tullibardine are distilleries that currently offer casks to the public. BenRiach is not a pro-active seller of casks, but do sell a limited
number of casks to private individuals.
(This story is about buying casks directly from a distillery. There are independent bottlers and brokers who may offer to sell you a cask, but I do not address them here).
It’s easy to see why the smaller distilleries make such offers: It’s a way for a new distillery to get a quick infusion of cash. Imagine waiting 10 years before you saw a penny of income from your product – 10 years is a long time to wait to see cash flow from a distillation – but that’s exactly what many distilleries face, unless they are producing for one of the blends. And many of the independents have effectively been shut out of that market.