Looking to buy?
How it works
We like to think we make buying easy, but should you require any help with bidding or using the dashboard, please give us a call on +44 (0)203 746 3030 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 1 - Register to Bid
Lots in the auction are visible to the public to view prior to the auction start date however interested parties must register in order to bid. You will need to validate your account with a £5 transaction fee.
This is a one-off payment and will enable you to participate in any future auction. Please understand that we need to do this to confirm all registered bidders for security reasons. To register, you must agree to our Terms and Conditions.
Once registered, it’s up to you to keep your account information strictly confidential as you will be responsible for all bids made through your account.
Get started and register here.
Step 2 - Understanding our Cask Auction
Whether or not you have bid in an online auction before, it is important that you understand how it works.
We hold auctions four times per year; once every three months.
The Auction will run for 7 days, starting at 12:00hrs on a Tuesday and concluding at 20:00hrs on the following Tuesday. Bidding is only accepted whilst the auction is running and must be submitted via the online platform.
The items for sale in our auction are oak casks containing genuine maturing single-malt Scotch Whisky or rum. The spirit inside these casks is distilled at wide variety of distilleries from all over Scotland and further afield.
The lots on our auction are owned privately and are lying at different warehouses across Scotland. To be labelled as ‘Scotch’ whisky, the cask must mature in Scotland by law.
All of the lots will have estimated prices for guidance, and minimum reserve prices at the discretion of the private owner.
Casks come traditionally in three different sizes; barrels, hogsheads and sherry butts. The lots will be sold in bond, which means duty and tax are suspended until the whisky is eventually bottled, at which point alcohol duty and VAT must be paid.
For clarification, you do not pay any VAT on the hammer price and you will not automatically receive delivery of the cask to your home/business address.
Step 3 - Understanding the lots
We provide as much information as possible about casks for sale in our auction. This will include basic information such as which particular distillery the whisky was distilled at, when the cask was filled, and what the cask type is.
Casks come in three sizes; barrels at 200 bulk litres, hogsheads (essentially barrels re-assembled with extra staves) at 250 litres, and sherry butts at 500 litres. Most barrels and hogsheads will have been used for the maturation of bourbon whisky, although sherry-seasoned hogsheads are not unheard of. Sherry butts will fetch higher prices than barrels not only for the much larger quantity of whisky that they hold, but also for the premium attached to sherry-matured scotch.
To find out more about cask types, including less-known varieties, click here.
Also of great importance is the ABV (alcohol by volume, measured in percentage) and the litres of pure alcohol (or ‘LOA’) in a cask. Casks are measured this way, rather than in bulk litres of whisky, for alcohol tax purposes.
With young casks, these will be the original litres of alcohol on filling (OLA). Older casks are re-gauged to provide updates on their maturation, and this new and more accurate information is known as the re-gauged litres of alcohol (or RLA). The RLA will always show a lower ABV than the LOA due to the natural evaporation of both alcohol and water through the oak as a result of maturation (the angel’s share).
The estimated number of bottles will always be based on the most recent re-gauge (within the last six months), the ABV of the whisky and a standard 70cl bottle size. Please be advised this is an estimate only; bottle estimates are for guidance only and are not an exact figure.
All lots have an estimate; this has an upper and lower figure and is for guidance purposes only. Lots will also have reserve prices, which is mutually agreed on between us and the seller.
Step 4 - Placing your bids
Once you have registered and made the decision to bid on a cask of your choice, you can enter your bid. Please note that once your bid is submitted, you enter a contractual agreement with us, your bid cannot be withdrawn, and you are committed to your offer.
We’ve included the functionality for you to enter a maximum bid, and we will increase the bid level of the lot incrementally until it reaches your maximum bid.
|£1,000 - £2,499
|£2,500 - £4,999
|£5,000 - £24,999
|£25,000 - £49,999
Step 5 - Monitor your bids
Log onto your personal account to access the dashboard and your watchlist, and monitor all your bids.
Here, you will be able to see if you are the current winning bidder, know if you have been outbid, and see current live bids on lots in your watchlist. We will also email you every time you have been outbid and give you a chance to act accordingly.
If you have been successful in the auction, you will receive an email confirmation from us, and additionally a notification through your dashboard.
Step 6 - Payment of funds for Purchase
If you are the highest bidder (and the reserve is met), at the end of the auction you will receive a DocuSign digital contract form where we will send you our T&C’s, collect HMRC Due Diligence information) such as proof of address, photo ID (if we do not already hold this), appoint Cask Trade as your Duty Representative (if a foreign buyer) and collect (or confirm) the full buyer details and invoice information. Please monitor your inbox for emails from “DocuSign” so as not to hold up the process. This will include reviewing your “spam” folder.
On completion and signing of the contract on DocuSign you will receive an invoice by email with instructions on how to pay for your cask. We kindly request full and final payment within 7 working days of the invoice date.
As this is an auction which provides a platform for selling casks we do not accept card payment or Paypal. International transfers of any currency will be accepted through BACS, Swift or Revolute.
Late payment on lots in breach of the contract of sale will incur fees, or result in the seller reserving the right to cancel the sale.
Please see our terms and conditions for full details. Once paid you will be issued with a Certificate of Ownership if the cask is held under Cask Trade’s licence.
Should you wish to move the cask to a separate location this does not exclude your obligation to pay for the cask in full within 7 days from the invoice date. This will be invoiced separately.
Step 7 - Fees, Commission, Storage and insurance, and Movement.
The buyers fee is 15% of the final auction price. Storage may range from £30-£60 +VAT per year which varies between warehouses, plus insurance starting from around £50+VAT per year, but the value of the cask must also be considered. Transport of casks between warehouses, if requested, also incurs costs. This is normally between £100 - £200 +VAT, depending on the distances involved.
We are happy to assist with your cask management - you can read more about your options here.
Step 8 - Transfer of ownership
As soon as we receive payment for your cask, we will provide you with a receipt and written confirmation of transfer of ownership, certification, and/or a delivery order (DO).