An island distillery is a key partner in Caskshare, an industry-first platform that aims to transform the way consumers engage with distilleries to buy single cask whisky.
Isle of Raasay Distillery has linked up with Caskshare which has been created with an emerging generation of whisky lovers in mind, offering the unique anticipation that comes with whisky’s distilling and ageing processes, without the limitations of having to outlay and invest in a whole cask.
Instead, whisky fans can build a diverse portfolio of whiskies, each differing in flavour, maturation time and style, location and date of bottling.
Founder David Nicol created Caskshare out of a desire to bring single cask whisky to a wider audience.
Having already launched the successful whisky subscription service, Craft Whisky Club, David recognised within the online whisky community a growing interest in a whisky’s provenance and the journey from distillery to dram.
His vision was to lower the barrier of entry into the world of cask ownership, and to help customers connect with their favourite distilleries from the get-go, whilst also allowing distilleries to engage with whisky fans in a real and tangible way with whisky straight from the cask.
He said: “We really want to democratise the ownership of whisky casks. It offers the opportunity for customers to get involved in maturing casks, the portfolio and preferences and reserve by the bottle.
“Anyone who wants to can get involved. We no longer want it to be the reserve of the few and open the market up to the many. You no longer have to spend £6,000, you can spend less than £100 to get going.
“We are whisky-loving techies who knew there was a market and an opportunity to get more people involved in craft whisky. You reserve, wait and enjoy.
“Customers will be provided with a virtual drinks cabinet, receive regular updates and, when we can, visit distilleries and pick their bottles up. Exciting times!”
Raasay Distillery co-founder Alasdair Day said: “We believe this is an industry-first that offers the opportunity to get into the Raasay spirit by sharing a cask with others.
“Caskshare offers real choice with the opportunity to select bottles from our different oak and cask types, filled with unpeated or peated spirit and matured for three to 12 years.”
The new online platform offers a bespoke service with an accessible and easy-to-use customer experience, that offers a guide through methods, age, styles and provenance.
Buyers can choose from a wide range of casks, from ex-Bourbon to old sherry casks, all of which will impart a distinctive flavour and nose. They can then explore different tastes, distilleries and maturation dates to create a tailored whisky portfolio that suits their individual tastes.
Once a share is reserved, a certificate will be issued and the distillery will keep in touch with progress and updates.
The cask steadily matures, taking on all of the rich flavours and aromas of its environment and, upon maturation, bottles can be sent directly to a home address.
For an extra special treat, bottle owners may also be invited by distilleries for special events and bespoke tastings.
Caskshare partners with the finest distilleries and sellers in Scotland, building relationships with some of the country’s most noted master distillers and exciting producers to give whisky lovers unprecedented access to single cask Scotch whisky.
David added: “People need to trust this marketplace – it needs to be transparent. We are open about how we connect producers and consumers.
“We have created our own flavour profile map, we have researched different ways to profile whisky flavours and have looked at the ways to visualise that, while our whisky map is drawn dynamically on the site as every page renders.
“It’s also international, there isn’t any real limit to the distilleries we can work with throughout the world.
“And it’s not just whisky, it can be any cask-stored liquid, for example, rum.
“It’s exciting times for us and we are looking forward to bringing more distilleries on to the platform in the weeks ahead.”
Casks that are already available on the Caskshare platform include Isle of Raasay Distillery, Ardnamurchan Distillery and BenRiach Distillery, as well as a cask distilled at the long lost Cambus Distillery being sold by current cask owners, R&B Distillers.
Caskshare is opening up the often intimidating world of single malt whisky and making cask owning available to all.
A share in a cask is an investment with character, whether this is an emotive connection with a distillery, a nest egg for the future, an anticipated treat to savour, or simply a unique gift for a loved one.
Prices range from £49 to £139 and more information is available by logging on to the Caskshare website.