Past and Present
October Auction Line-Up So Far...
3 October 12:00 - 13 October 20:00 BST
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Here's a sneak preview of the cask line-up for our upcoming October Auction...
2012 Ben Nevis Hogshead
Ben Nevis distillery lies just outside Fort William in the dramatic landscape of the West Highlands and under the shadow of the mountain of the same name. The distillery can trace its history back to 1825 but in all honesty, it had quite a chequered, difficult history until it was bought by Japanese distiller Nikka. Distillation is very slow and steady and this contributes to a rich full-bodied new make spirit which has a reputation of ageing particularly well in Sherry Butts. Here at Cask Trade HQ, we rave about the Ben Nevis 10 year old which is rare praise indeed. In fact, it is very hard to find much Ben Nevis on the marketplace in general.
2014 Orkney Hogshead
The Orkneys sit just above the Scottish mainland and it is certainly a mysterious, magical place, steeped in folklore and strange traditions. The local culture certainly feels different and this has translated into the whisky-making with both of the island’s two distilleries making very unique high-quality malts. Whilst they have very different styles, from an investment point of view there are many similarities.
Both are owned by famous powerful whisky companies, and both are very sought after by whisky enthusiasts, collectors and investors alike. They both produce malt whisky which is absolutely from the top drawer and both are steeped in fascinating history and heritage. One distillery produces a very robust powerful malt that is full of spice, heather, and hints of smoke and is also fragrant and honeyed. The other smaller distillery produces soft, sweet, smooth, light, floral malts with strong hints of citrus and honey.
If the cask says Orkney then as there are only two distilleries it could be - is cast iron that you are buying into a top division malt.
2014 Glenrothes Hogshead
Glenrothes whisky was considered excellent fillings for blends and to this day is a key part of both the famous Cutty Sark & Famous Grouse blends. Today they are producing about four million litres of spirit with 44 mashes per week. Interestingly they also have a cooperage on-site where they repair many casks for the distillery and the Edrington Group in general. This is a very complex classic Speyside malt which ages very well. It is medium-bodied with lots of rich nutty spicy notes.
This distillery is already established as a growing Single Malt. It certainly doesn’t hurt that its two sister distilleries are Highland Park and The Macallan and we see the value of Glenrothes just continuing to rise.
2009 Craigellachie Sherry Butt
Craigellachie is a fully paid-up member of the Speyside 'meaty' club alongside Cragganmore, Benrinnes, and Mortlach. This 'meatiness' arises from the new-make spirit that begins with a sulphur tone due to the lack of interaction with copper during distillation. However, this off-putting characteristic changes with maturation, and the spirit blossoms in the cask to reveal a full-bodied whisky with wonderful aromatic and tropical fruit notes.
Craigellachie's single malt whisky has been hidden away for so long but owners Dewar's (Bacardi) are certainly making up for the lost time by expanding the core range and promoting the brand, particularly in Asia. This 'meaty' style of whisky has great appeal to independent bottlers and therefore these casks will be in serious demand.
2010 North British Hogshead
Following the war era, North British Distillery reopened in 1949 and managed to survive the turbulent whisky crash of the 1980s. However, this century, production has increased to nearly 60 million litres per annum, under the new joint ownership of Edrington and Diageo. There is a slight irony in that it's now under the ownership of the company that it was built to be the competition of.
Whilst production is very high, nearly all the Grain Whisky is needed for brands like Johnnie Walker, Cutty Sark, Bells, Famous Grouse, and others. Very few casks are released onto the market, making them an interesting addition to any portfolio. Independent Bottlers have been releasing some very well-received expressions.
2010 Teaninich Hogshead
Situated in the Northern Highlands the style of this whisky is unpeated, medium-bodied, smooth, and oily. The samples we’ve tasted have had hints of pineapple, cocoa and vanilla underpinned by fresh grassy notes. This whisky is absolutely delicious. If you're looking to purchase a cask, Teaninich Distillery offers a few advantages. Firstly, the owners don’t release many of them, which increases the rarity. Secondly, the subsequent demand from independent bottlers. Thirdly, the fact that the whisky is very high quality.
2010 Linkwood Hogshead
Linkwood is part of the Diageo empire but it is incredibly hard to find it bottled as a Single Malt. One of the main reasons for this is that Linkwood Distillery is classified by blenders as a ‘top dressing malt’. If you think of all the distilleries being classified by blenders in league tables, you have an elite 10 which are the most sought after - these malts really add a lot of depth of flavour to a blend. Some of these ‘top dressers’ include Longmorn, The Glenlivet, Highland Park, Macallan, and of course Linkwood.
When you think that blended Scotch whisky still accounts for about 85% of the global market then you'll understand why the availability can be very limited, as the blends are where the whisky companies still make the bulk of their profits. Linkwood Distillery can trace its history back to 1821 and they age their whisky in a variety of casks, but these rarely come onto the market.
2009 Jura Sherry Butt
The current Jura Distillery can trace its history back to 1810, but after going through several name changes and ownership the distillery was closed and dismantled in 1901. The real story of Jura actually started in 1963 when Scottish & Newcastle breweries reopened the distillery and commenced production. The new stills installed were 7.7 metres tall (2nd tallest in Scotland), and with stainless steel washbacks and a relatively short fermentation time, the new style of Jura could only be described as quite light, salty, nutty and delicate.
This is an opportunity to buy into a well-known established brand in which the owners are investing heavily (Dalmore is one of the sister brands). The whisky clearly ages very well in every type of cask imaginable and our advice would be to hold onto this cask until it is 18-years-old where the demand from the Independent Bottlers will be highest. Jura is a great addition to any portfolio.
2013 Aultmore Hogshead
The distillery itself is situated just outside of Keith in Speyside and is owned by Dewars. The production now sits at three million litres per year and the whisky character is considered to be quite fragrant and fruity on the palate and quite full-bodied overall. It wasn’t until 2004 that a core range of 12-year-old was released and more recently an 18-year-old. The packaging was also revamped recently and looks fantastic.
The Independent Bottlers want this whisky so your exit strategy looks secure and the owners are investing in building up the brand image. One interesting point to consider is that the 18 year in the core range is very highly rated by many whisky writers. This could be a very savvy addition to add to your portfolio for longer-term investment and wait for that magical year. Besides that, there haven’t been many official distillery releases besides a few travel retail specials. However, the Independent Bottlers have certainly released a huge amount over the years. This is proof that whisky enthusiasts have driven demand.
2011 BenRiach Hogshead
The distillery opened in 1897 but Benriach's story really starts in 2004, when Billy Walker bought the distillery and transformed its fortunes. This hidden Speyside gem that for nearly all its history made malt whisky for blends, was finally getting the plaudits the high-quality whisky deserved. The style of the whisky is quite nutty, earthy, sweet, and spicy with plenty of rich fruit flavours.
2010 Ardmore Barrel
Ardmore is located right on the Highlands/Speyside border in the middle of the rural Aberdeenshire wilderness. Opened in 1898 it has a similar story to many distilleries opened in the late Victorian era. Blended whisky was booming and the distillery was opened in an area that had water, barley, and peat supply right next to the railway.
We would describe Ardmore as a light to medium peated malt with a ppm of 12-14, interspersed with the light smoke are vanilla, orchard fruits and floral notes…
2011 Glen Garioch Barrel
Glen Garioch Distillery (pronounced Glen gee-ree) opened in 1797, making it one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. Today, it is owned by Beam Suntory who are currently completely refurbishing the distillery. The plan is to switch to direct fire stills, which they are expecting will add a little more character to the spirit. Fermentation time is relatively short at 50 hours, this gives the spirit a full-bodied, waxy characteristic with strong cereal and fruity honeyed notes.
Are there samples?
We go through a verification process with each seller (re-gauge), checking the health of the cask and requesting a sample. At this moment, only a limited number of samples are available to the buyers as the lockdown put a hold on operations at warehouses and distilleries all over Scotland. If you would like to try some of the available samples, do not hesitate to contact Lee - Lee@auctionyourcask.com.
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