The rich rewards of whisky investment
High performing & Tax-free
Whisky is in high demand on a global scale. As an investment, cask whisky is a physical commodity that offers strong mid-term gains with rare tax benefits, such as exemption from Capital Gains Tax, VAT and excise when stored in a bonded warehouse. As the whisky matures and its flavour profile builds over time, so too does its value – offering you tax-free, dependable returns.
Objects of desire
Rare whisky has increased x 4.28 in value in average over the previous 12 months
Click the below assets to see how they compare:
Compiled by Knight Frank Research using data from Art Market Research (art, jewellery and watches), HAGI (cars), Rare Whisky 101 and Wine Owners
Did you know...
The global whisky market is worth£73b
whisky bottles are sold every second
In 2022 a cask of Macallan sold for£1m
Frequently asked questions
At MacInnes, we have taken considerable steps to ensure robust protection for your investment, from the moment you purchase and for the years ahead.
HMRC manages all whisky brokering companies with help from the Scottish Whisky Association – and we are fully authorised to buy, sell, move and store duty-suspended whisky, with all the necessary HMRC registrations and approvals in place. We have our Warehousekeepers and Owners of Warehoused Goods Regulations (WOWGR) certificate and adhere to all regulations, and we only use warehouses that are government bonded and regularly monitored.
Alongside our background in accounting and finance, we conduct Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer checks on every transaction. We can also arrange any required insurance for your cask while stored in the warehouse.
It’s also important to note that as soon as you purchase your cask, it is yours and nothing can change that until you choose to sell. If you wish to make arrangements for your cask without recourse to us, you are free to do so.
Our financial knowledge, combined with our true appreciation for the craft of whisky-making, has led us to invest in only premium branded single malt whiskies from a range of renowned Scottish distilleries and brands. Our cask ranges include a variety of names, including Highland Park, Glenrothes, Glen Moray, Tullibardine and more – with each name carrying a reputation that has a bearing on the value of the whisky they sell.
The type of cask you choose will also impact the starting price, and future value, of the whisky. Sizes can vary, including the smaller sized barrel (about 200 litres), the hogshead (around 250 litres) and butts (approximately 500 litres), and are typically made from American, French or Spanish oak. Casks can be used multiple times and for different spirits – with each use bringing different characteristics to the final flavour.
You can also buy casks at different stages in the maturation process. A new fill cask will likely be a long way off from being bottled, but offers great potential for the future. A cask that is five years into the process will be closer to its full flavour, but could have less room for growth.
At the point of purchase, your cask may already be stored in an HMRC-approved bonded warehouse, which means it can simply stay there. If it isn’t in a bonded warehouse, or you want it moved to a different facility, the transportation process can take between four and ten weeks.
If you have an account with a bonded warehouse, we can help with the legal transfer of your cask title, and issue a countersigned delivery order. 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, with MacInnes acting as your nominee in the warehouse.
When you invest in a cask, you will receive a welcome pack from us, including a certificate that proves your ownership. This will also include documentation that confirms your cask is being stored on your behalf in a specific bonded warehouse.
There are some minor costs for using a bonded warehouse. As a rule, the costs of storing and insuring your cask are approximately £1 - £2 per week, but this may vary between warehouses. If you don’t have your own account with the bonded warehouse, we will pay these costs on your behalf and invoice you on a yearly basis.
Bonded warehouses are special storage facilities that are tightly regulated by HMRC. They can be of varying sizes and often contain specialised facilities – for example, deep freezes or large vats to store wine or spirits. All our bonded warehouses are located in Scotland, and offer services specific to cask storage, including regauging and re-racking.
The beauty of cask investment is how simple it is – you just have to be patient and let your investment grow in value. We will provide you with regular updates on your cask and the wider whisky market in the meantime so you know how your investment is progressing.
If your cask is more than five years old, the only thing you need to be aware of is the importance of the occasional health check during the maturation process to make sure it’s maturing as it should be, and to keep tabs on when it’s approaching suitability for sale or bottling. We recommend carrying out checks every three years, and will be on hand to help you maintain them – making sure you’re perfectly primed for the optimum time to sell.