Storage in Scotland
Spirit straight from the stills of a distillery is called new make. Only after maturing in Scotland for three years and one day can the spirit be called Scotch whisky. By law it is not allowed to be shipped in cask out of Scotland – they have to be bottled first, and the labels on the bottles have to comply with the guidelines of the Scotch Whisky Association.
Angels’ Share / Losing volume due to maturation
During maturation, the spirit interacts with the wood of the cask and the air inside and outside. This is how Scotch whisky gets its unique taste. In the process of maturation, both the volume and the specific alcohol content in the cask change. This evaporation of the liquid is called the Angels’ Share. When buying a cask and keeping it in storage, you should expect a loss of 1 – 5% of the total volume per year. But, it can happen that the Angels are really thirsty or a cask gets a leakage. Those things happen very rarely, but there´s no guarantee that this cannot happen. You can ask the warehouse to do a re-gauge from time to time and/or request a sample – it´s always worth keeping an eye on your cask(s).
Export, Duty and Taxes
All our casks are maturing in bonded warehouses in Scotland, so no VAT or alcohol duties need to be paid when purchasing a cask. If you sell a cask while it is still under bond, no VAT needs to be paid either (this is correct as of time of writing).
Exporting whisky is only possible once the spirit has been bottled. If you are living in the United Kingdom, you have to pay duties and taxes to the bottler, and only then they can ship the whisky to you. If you want to export the whisky to other countries, the regulations differ and you should ask the local authorities in advance. Normally you have to calculate the amount of pure alcohol based on an actual re-gauging of your cask and pay the respective alcohol duties in advance. Afterwards, you will receive documents that allow the bottler to ship the whisky. If you would like to consume the Scotch by yourself, you have to check if you have to pay VAT and/or other taxes in your country too. Generally, you only have to pay VAT depending on the original price of the cask.
Transporting bottles to a bonded warehouse in another country is the easiest way of exporting.
A full cask of whisky cannot leave the country – it has to be bottled first.
We do not offer investment or tax advice.