Commonly Asked Questions

How does it work?

We aim to make every step of the process transparent, and easy to understand. From the start you will have the chance to speak with our expert team, talking through the right options for you, and helping you understand the whisky investment process. 

From there you can select your cask, whilst we provide you with all the documents and guidance to secure ownership of your new investment. The cask then remains in a secure, HMRC regulated warehouse which is  regularly monitored, and we keep you up to date on the progress of your cask and the wider whisky market.

When you are ready, we can help you sell or bottle your cask, with a range of exit strategies available.

Can I sample my whisky?

Yes – your investment can be as hands on as suits you.

What taxes am I subject to?

Whilst your cask is stored in a warehouse, it is considered to be in ‘duty suspension’ so no VAT or excise are payable on it. Also, as it is a wasting asset according to HMRC (due to the ‘angel’s share’ or minor evaporation that occurs to cask whisky each year) whilst in the bonded warehouse, it has the unique tax status of being capital gains tax (CGT) free so when you sell your cask for a profit you pay no tax on it (compare this to the top rate of capital gains tax on residential properties which is 28%, with a lot more complications and risks!)

What happens when I buy my cask?

After making payment we can issue you with your ownership certificate of title, including unique cask number and the cask location. This will guarantee the authenticity of your cask and allow you to resell through other channels if you wish to do so. 

If you do not have an account with a bonded warehouse, you will receive a legally binding invoice to secure beneficial ownership of the cask. If you have an account, we can help with legal transfer of cask title, and issue a delivery order. 

I’ve never previously invested, where do I start?

Don’t worry – it’s our goal to make sure whisky investment is accessible to anyone looking for alternative assets. Our team can talk through all the steps needed to make the journey as clear as possible. To learn more about getting started in whisky investment, download our whisky investment guide, or book a consultation with our team. 

We can talk through all of your options, from cask size to whisky brand, and offer advice on tax, investment portfolios and exit strategies, so you have all the information needed to make the right investment decision. 

How is my investment protected?

The HMRC manages all whisky brokering companies with help from the Scottish Whisky Association. We are fully authorised to buy, sell, move and store duty suspended whisky, with all the necessary HMRC registrations and approvals in place. 

All the warehouses we use are government bonded, securing your cask stock without payment of duty, and regularly monitored by both the warehouse keepers, and our team. We have our WOWGR (WarehouseKeepers and Owners of Warehoused Goods Regulations) certificate and adhere to all regulations. Additionally, whilst in the warehouse, we can ensure your cask receives any required insurance. 

Alongside our background in accounting and finance, we conduct AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) checks on every transaction. 

What are typical investment sizes?

The casks we have on offer vary in price from £4,000 up to £95,000 but we can source casks of a higher value if requested. We only sell single malt, branded whisky unlike some of our competitors who will offer you cheaper, trade name whisky which is used to mix with blended whisky and which does not have the upward investment potential. The amount you can invest, and the range of cask options can vary depending on a number of factors, from whisky brand name to distillery. Talk with our team and find opportunities best suited for you, your budget and your portfolio. 

Can I sell out at any time?

Once you have invested in your cask, it is your choice for how long you wish to keep it. We only sell premium Scotch whisky. Scotch whisky can only claim to be Scotch after it has matured in a cask for at least 3 years (so if anyone tries to sell you a cask younger than 3 years and claims it to be Scotch whisky then you are being missold!)

Whilst maturing in the cask, whisky not only improves in flavour, but value, which is why we suggest keeping your investment for around 10 years to see the best returns. During this time, you will receive regular updates on the market and progression of your cask via your allocated investment agent.

Why should I invest with MacInnes?

At MacInnes we want to make whisky investment a transparent and open process. Our team’s background in finance and accountancy means you know you are not only getting the best advice on whisky, but the best possible financial advice too. We know finding the right investment is important, and we never want to push a sale that’s not right for you. 

Our team are fully regulated and follow all the required guidelines and codes to ensure everything runs smoothly, and your investment is protected. 

What factors determine the value of a cask?

There are many factors that impact the value of whisky. The brand name and distillery can impact the price a cask may sell for, with the reputation of each imparting unique value to collectors and consumers alike. 

With the maturation process, whisky value will also increase. Unlike with bottles, when you invest in casks you invest in whisky that continues to develop in flavour. The length of time a whisky matures plays an important role in determining whisky value. 

Other factors can include the alcohol percentages, year of production and the type and size of cask. This can include the smaller sized barrel (about 200 litres), the hogshead (around 250 litres) and butts (approximately 500 litres). 

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.