Founded in September 2011 ‘Brooks & Whitaker Limited’ trading as ‘Vintage Acquisitions’ are specialist stockists of single cask, single malt whisky and assist both new and existing clients with every aspect of whisky cask purchase.
As with the purchase of any commodity, market awareness and the building of personal relationships are key. We pride ourselves on delivering bespoke cask whisky solutions to our clients based on our knowledge of the market and importantly the individual’s requirements and personal circumstances.
Who buys cask Whisky?
Essentially we have three main categories of client:
- Whisky lovers and enthusiasts
- Parents and Grandparents buying casks for their children and grandchildren
- Private individuals looking to diversify risk in their portfolio through alternative assets with a Capital Gains tax free edge
What are the risks?
Cask whisky purchase is, of course, an alternative asset and prices can fluctuate however the concept is simple. The older a cask is the more desirable it becomes. As long as the cask is well looked after and checked regularly (which we organise on your behalf) the only risk we see is if there is no demand for your cask when you come to sell it. Sales of whisky are on the increase and the lifting of tariffs should have a positive effect on demand going forward.
What sets Vintage Acquisitions apart?
- We are in our second decade of trading
- We are based in the UK and welcome office visits
- We are stockists of casks
- We hold all HMRC licences
- We have over £10m of casks under management
- We make the buying process as simple as possible and include storage and Insurance with every cask purchase
- We operate a policy of total transparency
- We have 6 tried and tested exit options
Unlike many of our competitors Vintage Acquisitions are stockists as well as brokers of whisky. This means we hold a wide range of whisky stock of varying sizes and age to suit all budgets. Individual casks prices typically start at £5,000 with discerning clients buying casks across the different regions of Scotland.
The relationships we have built with top distilleries over the past decade have allowed us to source the widest range of quality cask whisky at the best possible prices. Our professional and structured cask whisky purchase process allows our clients to buy into this booming alternative asset class in the knowledge that they have received unrivaled first class help and support all the way.
We also have a bottling arm called Vintage Bottlers Ltd (https://vintagebottlersltd.com/) and once a client trades with us they are automatically enrolled into our Vintage Whisky Club where they can book a variety of events we host whether it be international rugby matches, distillery tours, golf, shooting, private tastings and many more.
We have also launched a cask ownership portal for our clients which details all their cask purchasing history, portfolio objectives, market news and live stock inventory.
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What are the benefits of whisky cask purchase?
With the scarcity and value increasing with age, Vintage Acquisitions are delighted to assist both new and existing clients interested in exploring the opportunity of whisky cask purchase.
The removal last year of trade tariffs in the US and Australia plus the current review of India’s 150% tariff will have further impact on demand.
Recent press articles on whisky casks breaking records at auction has endorsed the fact that whisky casks are a desirable commodity with older casks in huge demand from Asia and the US in particular.
CAPITAL GAINS TAX FREE: Whisky casks are classed by HMRC as a ‘wasting asset’ and are therefore not subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
INHERITANCE TAX FREE: Whisky casks are an asset that would ordinarily form part of your estate upon death. Whisky casks can however be purchased as a gift (under trust) and therefore come out of your estate and are no longer liable for Inheritance Tax (IHT).
ANNIVERSARIES: Once matured, your cask can be bottled for any special occasion and individually labeled to your specific requirements via Vintage Bottlers Ltd - www.vintagebottlersltd.com.
GIFTS & CHARITY: Your cask can be a future gift for a significant event like a wedding or anniversary or could be auctioned for a charity to raise funds.
How does Whisky compare against traditional assets?
Tangible assets have long been popular among banks, hedge funds, and the mega-rich as a way to hedge against economic instability and recessions.
Gold and precious metals, antiques, art and jewellery are sought and bought in times of economic struggle and uncertainty. Add Scotch whisky to that list!
Whisky by its pure nature can't help but improve the longer it is held in the cask and therefore, it makes absolute sense that while it ages and improves, it also increases in value. It is also no surprise that this 'Capital Gains Tax Free' asset is forever growing in popularity and stature.
How do I go about buying cask whisky?
The process is very simple and laid back. We like our potential clients to take their time when buying a cask, so they are completely comfortable with the process.
- Initial telephone call with a member of our team to establish your needs, budget and answer any questions you may have.
- We match your requirements to our stock list and present some options by email for consideration and further discussion.
- We schedule a further call or ideally a Zoom / Teams meeting to talk through our recommendations
- Once you have decided on the cask(s) that suit your needs and budget we will invoice you and once payment is settled you will receive an ownership pack including the certificate of title for your cask(s) and details of where it is stored
- Your cask will be held in one of our secure HMRC licenced bonded warehouses in Scotland.
- As a cask owner you will be granted access to our secure on-line whisky cask portal to keep a track on all your purchases. All cask documentation is available via the portal.
Frequently asked questions:
Is there a minimum purchase price?
No. Depending on the stock held at the time, the minimum investment is the price of the lowest value cask at the time the inquiry is made. This price could vary on a daily basis but has no minimum.
How long should investors hold their casks for?
How long you hold your cask is entirely up to you. We will discuss this with you in detail before your purchase so we can tailor everything to your needs, but we recommend a minimum of 5 years. However, the longer you hold on to your cask, the more the whisky improves, the rarer it becomes and larger the potential returns.
How do I know my casks exist?
Once the purchase of your cask(s) has been completed, you will have received an invoice, a paid receipt and a certificate of title (wet signed and stamped by the founding director) or a Delivery Order (DO) to your own private account, if you have one.
All these corresponding documents include the cask’s unique number and recent regauge or filling data (OLA/RLA, AYS, ABV).
On becoming an owner you can visit your cask (warehouse dependant), draw samples and you will receive documentation and correspondence confirming the recommended ongoing care of your cask.
Have you exited any clients from the market?
Yes. As the longest standing whisky cask company in the UK we have already exited a number of clients out of the market.
What are the exit options?
When the time is right to sell or bottle your cask, we will walk you through the process, whichever you choose. There are currently six strategies we adhere to:
- We will offer to purchase the cask(s) directly
- We can add your cask(s) to our live inventory for our global clients to view.
- Auction your cask
- Sell to an independent bottler
- Bottle your whisky and share with your family, friends or colleagues
- Depending on how rare your cask(s) is, there may be an option to sell back to the distillery.
Is whisky an appreciating asset?
The desirability and quality of Scotch whisky clearly increases with age. Common sense tells us that the longer you hold on to your whisky cask the more coveted it will be. With a decade of experience in trading cask whisky, Vintage Acquisitions know that there is little point in speculating about future cask whisky values or making wild claims about performance. We are, however confident that we have the wherewithal and expertise to give prospective buyers enough reassurance to talk through their requirements and make an informed decision based on fact not fiction.
We actively encourage our clients to read our ‘customer reviews’ and talk to us freely and without obligation. We wholeheartedly want our transparent and thorough processes to provide prospective clients with the best possible experience and outcome based on their circumstances, timescales and objectives. Like our whisky we are in it for the long term.
Are my casks insured and stored under bond?
Yes. Our WOWGR certificate (Departmental Trader Registration Number: 127 4643 13/0001) issued by HMRC, authorises us to store cask whisky under bond in any appropriately approved Scottish excise warehouse. Therefore, we store casks of whisky across a number of distilleries and HMRC approved facilities in Scotland.
The full value of your cask is insured for fire, theft and accidental damages. Any excess on the policy will be met by Vintage Acquisitions so in the unlikely event of a claim you would be entitled to the full market value of the cask at the time of the claim.
Visit our website and download our free Whisky Cask Ownership Guide here. Brooks & Whitaker Limited trading as `Vintage Acquisitions`, Whisky House, Unit 3, 2 Newhams Row, London, SE1 3UZ. tel: +44 (0)208 057 2001 // email: email@example.com