Forest Whisky Cask Ownership
Forest Distillery Ltd are offering private individuals, groups and businesses the opportunity to purchase individual casks of whisky and join our family in following its ageing process as the spirit matures. We only have a small team here and have limited production capacity, so these releases are very rare and once the allocation is sold, then we will not have more to offer.
Each cask will be unique and identified with your name or phrase of choice. The spirit will be distilled by us at the Cat & Fiddle, which is the UK’s highest altitude distillery. There are several custom options available for you to choose when purchasing.
Legally, you cannot enjoy your spirit as “whisky” for at least 3 years. We will nurture and look after your cask whilst it is in our care, but we will not bottle it for you, or remove it from our cellars until at least 3 years have passed.
We will distil your single-malt spirit here at the Cat & Fiddle
Your spirit will be produced using 3 ingredients: Barley, yeast, and our spring water
At point of purchase, you will receive options as to which type of cask you would like your whisky to mature in
You will receive a bespoke log-book to certify your cask and to act as proof of ownership
Upon bottling, you will receive a small (100ml) sample of the new-make spirit
Your cask will be matured in the cellars at the Cat & Fiddle for at least it’s first 3 years
At year 3, we reserve the right to move the cask to an external bonded warehouse, or you may decide to exercise any of your options listed further on this page
We will insure your cask alongside our own whilst it is in our care
You are invited to visit your cask on its birthday each year. On birthday number 3, you have the option to draw a small 100ml sample from the cask. If you are unable to attend, then we will draw this sample for you and send it to the UK address of your choosing.
Options at year 3
Bottling: You could instruct us to bottle your whisky at the ABV of your choice. We offer a choice of glass bottles at £3 per 700ml bottle including a basic label, and can also offer you upgrade options to alternatives, including ceramics. Cost of bottles and material options could fluctuate, but we will endeavor to be transparent with costs. You also have the option to provide your own bottles, closures and labels, provided that it fits our bottling equipment. You also have the right to transfer your whisky to an independent bottler if this is your preference.
You could leave the whisky to continue to mature with us at a cost of £100 per year to cover insurance, care and storage. This could be in an external bonded warehouse depending on our space requirements at the time.
There may be an option to further mature at the Cat & Fiddle. Costs and options to be confirmed at the time
If you choose to extend your storage with us, then you will have the right to instruct bottling at any point after year 3, but we would ask for at least 6 months notice for bottling
There may be options for you to change the cask that your whisky is held in. Often known as “cask finishing”. Prices and availability would be discussed and confirmed at the time.
You could sell the entire cask to a 3rd party such as a private individual, a whisky investor, or an independent bottler
We may be interested in purchasing your cask back from you, or a proportion of it.
You may choose to move your cask to an alternative storage location of your choice. This would be subject to UK law and whisky regulations at the time, and whilst we will always try to offer advice and help, any movement would be entirely your responsibility.
All applicable duties and taxes will be your responsibility as detailed below
Duty & Taxes
When purchasing a cask from us, you are purchasing it as “Duty Free”, meaning that no UK spirits duty has been paid on the contents. We will store the cask within our bonded warehouse for at least the first 3 years, so you will not be liable to pay this until you exercise one of your options. In August 2022, the rate of UK spirits duty is currently £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol (LPA). We have no control over how this may change in the future.
Should you choose to have the whisky bottled, or for it to leave our warehouse, you will be liable to pay UK Spirits Duty at the rate on the day. The only exception to this is if you have arranged for it to leave to another bonded warehouse, or if you have arranged export of the whisky under bond.
The amount of duty that you will be liable for will depend on the strength and volume of whisky in the cask at the time of bottling. This will be lower than the initial fill volume due to natural losses during maturation (the angels share) which is estimated to be 2% per year, but could be higher.
An example of costs is demonstrated below:
Cask size 50 litres
Alcohol strength 50%
Equals 25 litres of pure alcohol (LPA)
If bottled today, then 25l x £28.74 = £718.50
So £718.50 would be payable to HMRC before the whisky can leave our bonded warehouse
UK VAT is currently at 20%. This is charged on the purchase price of the whisky together with the Duty rate prevailing at the time of removal from bond, on top of any storage charges over the years. Both Duty & VAT are due before the cask of whisky can be removed from the bonded warehouse.
Taxes are subject to change from the UK Government. Various different rates of Duty apply throughout the EU and rest of the world.
Your cask will be insured against fire, theft & damage
If the contents of your cask are completely spoiled or damaged whilst with us, you will be offered the agreed insurance value as a settlement payment, or a replacement cask if available. Until the 3rd birthday of the cask, this will be limited to the internal cost of the filled cask as agreed with our insurers.
Should a cask owner die or, by reason of illness or incapacity (whether mental or physical), is incapable of managing his or her own affairs or becomes a patient under any mental health legislation then Forest Distillery Ltd shall continue to hold the cask, but shall recognise instructions in connection with the cask ownership (including but not limited to any amendment to a delivery address) only from the personal representatives, or those persons duly authorised to act on behalf of, the cask owner.
If Forest Distillery Ltd no longer trades, or becomes insolvent, then you will retain full title to your cask of whisky. Your log-book will act as proof of ownership
Forest Distillery Ltd offers no guarantees as to the flavour profile, taste, or colour of the whisky produced from the cask. Maturation is a natural process and you must understand the risks involved when purchasing a cask.
Each cask is sold as a whisky purchase. We do not offer our casks as investment opportunities and there is no guarantee with the future values of casks.
If you move home or your contact details change, then it is entirely your responsibility to inform us.
If you choose to export your finished whisky, then this is entirely your responsibility to be aware of any regulations regarding taxes, legal options and labeling
Capital Gains: For UK tax payers, UK Capital Gains Tax is not applicable as whisky is regarded as a “tangible”, “movable” and “wasting asset”. Whisky purchased in cask for personal use, as gifts for family, godchildren and friends, etc. would therefore be exempt from Capital Gains Tax on realisation of the asset. This is correct as of August 2022, but it is the purchaser’s responsibility to be aware of changes.
Price Calculation Example
For your convenience, please find below a model calculation at current rates, which gives you an idea of the total costs for a 65 litre cask, bottled in 3yrs time at 46% alc. vol., in 70cl bottles:
Purchase Price of 65 litre cask. Including 3 years storage and insurance £2500
Bottling Charge at £3 per 700ml bottle. Approx 100 bottles filled £300
Duty on estimated yield of 32.2 L.P.A @ £28.74 per Litre £925
VAT on above @ 20% £1,520.77 £745
Total estimated price per bottle = £44.70 (RRP for Single Malt Forest Whisky bottled by us would be £100).
These prices are example only, and correct as of 1st August 2022 – Subject to change