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The Rhythm and Booze with Felipe Schrieberg

10 Distilleries Where You Can Buy An Entire Cask Of Whisky

Editor: This article was first published on Forbes on 26/11/2018. Find the original article here


Felipe Schrieberg

Felipe is an award-winning London-based whisky writer, tastings host, drinks competitions judge, and author. He is also a musician and co-founder of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a duo that fuses live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events and multimedia.

Follow Felipe on Twitter, Linkedin or his website.


Buying a good bottle of whisky is always a pleasure, especially when you have the chance to open and drink it. Over time, you start to become attached to certain favorites (most of mine are on the Scottish island of Islay), and many whisky geeks these days are making pilgrimages to their favorite distilleries to finally be able to visit the source of their favorite drink.

A few distilleries these days are letting you go one step further, however.

You can buy entire casks of whisky that will be stored and matured at the distillery warehouse just for you. Whenever you want (or budget permitting if the cask stays there a while) you can then bottle the cask and enjoy your very own single cask release, often consisting of a few hundred bottles. Whether you want to give them to friends, keep them to yourself, or sell them on is up to you!

Selling casks allows the distillery to collect a large amount of capital quickly to fund its operations, which is why new whisky distilleries often have a cask program in place.

The distilleries that I include in this list are indeed mostly new and smaller operations, though there’s a few established names in here too.

Most importantly, I must make it clear that the price I quote is the price for the cask only! It does not include taxes, bottling, and warehousing costs, amongst other potential charges. As a result, the actual price of buying a cask and bottling your own whisky can be much higher, maybe even more than double the price of the cask itself. Each distillery offers different services at varying prices as well so make sure you consider all these factors when you’re buying your own whisky cask.

With that disclaimer issued, here we go:


Annandale distillery has just released its first single malt. (Image Source: ANNANDALE DISTILLERY)


Annandale - £2,580+ ($3,350)

Located in the south of Scotland near the English border, new whisky distillery Annandale recently released its first single malt whisky, with a new edition on the way. It offers a wide variety of casks, including bourbon (first fill and refill), sherry (£5,900 for a full sherry butt, which holds 500 liters), and and red wine (£6,380 for 500 liters).


Islay's newest distillery increases the island's number of distilleries to nine. (Image Source: ARDNAHOE)


Ardnahoe - £7,000 ($9,000)

It’s a pricy cask, but this is no ordinary facility. Ardnahoe is the newest whisky distillery on the whisky capital of Islay, and its whisky production design has been overseen by the legendary Jim McEwan, the man behind the renaissance of another Islay distillery, Bruichladdich. This may be one of the few chances anyone will ever have to buy a cask of Islay whisky.


You too can be like royalty if you buy an Arran cask (Image Source: SEBASTIAN.B ON FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS)


Arran - £2,250+ ($2,900+)

An independent operation, Arran has been around for a while and produces some excellent whiskies. Buying one of its casks of whisky would be a good and safe choice. You’re even allowed to pick between a first fill bourbon or second fill sherry cask (£2,800).


Expect to hear more mentions of 'weegie whisky' in the future (Image Source: GLASGOW DISTILLERY)


Glasgow Distillery - £2,604+ ($3,360)

Glasgow’s first whisky distillery in operation since 1902, the Glasgow Distillery recently released its first single malt, the 1770. The opportunity to buy bottles is done only by ballot as the demand outstrips current production.  However, buying a cask ensures that you won’t miss out. Aged in bourbon casks, you can pick between an unpeated or peated (£3,125) spirit, or even have the spirit triple distilled (£3,125), in the Irish style.


This rye whisky pioneers won't release its whisky until it's properly ready (Image Source: INCHDAIRNIE)


Inchdairnie - £8,500 ($10,900)

Inchdairnie recently made headlines as the Scotch whisky distillery experimenting with production of rye whisky, a category not legally recognised in the U.K. (though the distillery is allowed to describe its ‘grain whisky’ as a rye whisky). However, the future whisky you would buy here would eventually become single malt. This operation is in for the long haul; Inchdairnie won’t release a single malt whisky until it is good and ready in 2029.


Though this is an artist's impression, the distillery itself is almost complete and will start production next year (Image Source: LAGG)


Lagg - £6,000 ($7,700)

Lagg is the new whisky distillery being built on the isle of  Arran, by the same owners as the Arran Distillery. The big difference between the two will be that Lagg will produce heavily peated whisky. Due to begin production earlier next year, you can reserve your future cask now. Buying a Lagg cask also comes with several unique bonuses, including a stay in a nearby hotel and a few rounds of golf across the island.


The Lindores abbey goes back to its whisky roots with a new distillery (Image Source: LINDORES DISTILLERY)


Lindores – £1,100+ ($1,410+)

A new microdistillery built on the grounds of a historic abbey (which has its own rich history of whisky and distillation), Lindores allows the purchase of either whole casks or cask shares i.e. you buy a quarter of a cask rather than a whole one, starting with a 40 litre red wine firkin cask at £1,100. The actual range of cask options available is too large to list here and is the most extensive out of all the distilleries in this article.


Whisky from Israel? Yes indeed. Expect it to be better than the wine... (Image Source: MILK AND HONEY)


Milk and Honey – ₪11,111 (£2,400/$3,100) 

There’s a new mini-boom of whisky distilleries in Israel, with the Tel Aviv-based Milk and Honey Distillery being one of the first. I actually had a chance to try its new make spirit (watered down to 50% ABV) and it was delicious, which bodes well for the whisky as it matures and takes on new flavors.


The distillery name is the abbreviation of a mythical witch queen (Image Source: NCN'EAN)


Ncn’ean - £3,000 ($3,850)

A new microdistillery located in the western highlands of Scotland, Ncn’ean (pronounced ‘nook-knee-ann’) is offering bourbon casks for its whisky, and also is able to provide a red wine cask (£3,900) as well.


Penderyn is Wales' best and worst single malt distillery (because it's the only one) (Image Source: FELIPE SCHRIEBERG)


Penderyn - £2,300 ($3,000)

Penderyn is Wales’ first whisky distillery in 100 years, and right now the only one producing single malt whisky. Buying a Penderyn cask, and bottling it after 5-8 years, is a great choice. Its new make spirit is particularly receptive to flavors it absorbs from the cask (it’s to do with the distillery's unique production process) so it’s sure to be tasty. It’s a great price too.


(Update) Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery - £3,350+ ($4,300+)

English whisky is currently going through a quiet boom, as more whisky distilleries keep opening and producing whisky south of the Scottish border. So far, many of them seem to be producing quality spirit, and some have started releasing single malts as well. The Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery is the first whisky distillery in the northern English area of Yorkshire, and they're offering a few first fill bourbon and sherry casks for your consideration.


By Felipe Schrieberg

Felipe is a London-based whisky writer, musician, tastings host, drinks competitions judge, and author. He writes for internationally renowned publications such as Forbes, Whisky Magazine and The Whiskey Wash. He has been awarded the Icons of Whisky Communicator of the Year award at Whisky Magazine's 2022 World Whiskies Awards.

He is the co-founder of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a duo fusing live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events, and multimedia. His past projects encompass performances at the Edinburgh Fringe of the band's own show Two Guys, Three Drams which combined live blues with whisky tasting, and building the world's first bass drum made from an entire Scotch whisky cask with a barrel of Lagavulin.

He is also a judge for the World Whiskies Awards and The Independent Bottlers Challenge. Through his online tastings hosted at The Virtual Whisky Masterclass, he has welcomed over 3,000 guests across 250+ tasting events.

His first book, London Cocktails, is now available worldwide. Follow him on Twitter/Instagram @schriebergfr, or at www.felipeschrieberg.com