What’s the Difference Between Cask Investment and Bottle Investment

There are 2 main ways of investing in whisky, either investing in a bottle or investing in a cask. 

But what are the main differences?

Investing in casks 

The most difficult part of investing in Whisky casks is finding out where to invest, what brand or even what distillery to contact. At MacInnes Whisky, we help beginners find the right path and guide them through each step. 

Casks are continuing to rise in popularity, and can be a sound investment for the future providing an average return of between 10% and 25% per year. 

One of the greatest benefits when investing in whisky casks is that the more you leave your cask to mature the more profit you will get in return. Once you’ve found your cask all you need to think about is how long you can afford to let it mature. Your cask will be safe from being forged, it will be protected, monitored and kept safe whilst it grows in value. 

How long should you leave your cask to mature? 

If you decide to purchase a new fill cask, you need to know that you have to let it mature for at least 3 years before you can even call it Scotch whisky. Whisky sells better after 5 years and even better after 15 years. The rarer the whisky, the more valuable it gets. When a cask has been kept for more than 20 years, investors understand its rarity and are more willing to spend more on it.  

When it comes to casks, there is never a shortage of buyers. From private investors, bottlers to even distilleries themselves in need of their own blend. You’re almost guaranteed to find a buyer.

Investing in bottles

If you’re a big collector, investing in bottles would be the better option for you. 

The whisky bottle investing industry is already well established, which can make it difficult for newcomers to assert themselves in the industry. However, even if the best bottles are currently being held by tracking auctions and in the Whisky Market, there are still ways to get your hands on a great collector’s piece.

Unlike casks, you will be the one providing a safe room for your whisky bottles. You would need to have a room that’s away from the sun with a lower room temperature, and you need to make sure your whisky will have enough room to stand upright.

Selling a bottle of whisky is another thing. Essentially investing in a whisky bottle is a gamble. You are hoping that in the next few years there will be a high demand for your bottle. When a whisky is bottled, it does not continue to mature, meaning its taste will remain the same until opened. You can expect a not so popular bottle to still not be popular in the next few years. This is why it is advised to buy special releases from big brands such as Macallan, Bowmore and Highland Park. Why special releases? Because the rarer a bottle is, the better chance you will make a profit from selling it. You also need to keep an eye out for forged bottles especially when you’re buying from private investors. Read more here (Link to blog: Biggest Risks)

Unfortunately, you can never really predict the returns of bottles, even if you keep up to date with all the auctions around the world and estimate the best time to sell, there are still risks. 

If you are a keen whisky drinker, then investing in bottles may be for you, safe in the knowledge that even if the bottle does not sell, you can enjoy the drink in its own right.  

So whilst making your decision weigh up the pros and cons of both and decide what is right for you. 

To start on your whisky cask investment journey, download our guide below, or if you’d like to speak to one of our specialists, email sales@macinneswhisky.com

Get Started by Downloading Our Guide

Read through your copy of the MacInnes whisky investment guide and learn more about the market and the whisky investment process.

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