Cask ownership is the new black or whatever. It’s everywhere now, buy a cask of whisky; it’s an excellent investment. And it’s true, but let’s be clear about a few things. Scotch must be bottled in Scotland and bourbon in America. I hope this doesn’t shock many of you, but Irish Whiskey must be distilled, aged and bottled in… you guessed it.
So, that cask you and your buddies purchased on that juicy distillery tour ten or twenty years ago is very likely ready to bottle. It’s also very likely that the distillery you bought it from wants to repurchase it from you. But it’s doubtful that was the idea when you bought it.
So why not keep the whisky? The answer is complicated; importing alcohol is neither inexpensive nor straightforward, especially in Canada. We have relatively secure borders, complex and confusing regulations on controlled substances, and an army of civil servants who enforce those regulations and get paid to do it. Distilleries love to talk about the angel’s share, but there are a few others on a whisky bottle’s journey that get their cut.
Our first barrel sample flew back and forth from Heathrow to Vancouver several times before we finally had our paperwork in order. We’re lucky it wasn’t destroyed by customs officers, if I’m being honest. When it finally cleared customs, we tasted a whisky with great potential. In other words, it’s not ready yet. It would have been a crushing disappointment had we bottled without tasting, assuming it was prepared because it was now over thirteen years old. We knew when and where the spirit was distilled, we learned how long it had been in its specific type of barrel, but we didn’t know one variable. I’ll leave that one to you to figure out. Keep in mind this wasn’t unexpected, and the whisky is currently resting in its finishing cask as initially intended.
So, what does Modern Whisky do and why? We are, at our core, a bottling company. We are many more things, but if you want to purchase a cask of whisky (or whiskey) to bottle and split amongst friends or give to clients, or for any other reason, one could come up with Modern Whisky can make it happen. Not to say that the individual can’t do it, but I promise it will be more trouble than it’s worth.
Let us help.