Find out more about our casks and the story behind them
Lifting the curtain on whisky investments
Whisky investments have proved to be a high performing asset class, with prices reaching new highs in recent years. For new investors looking to enter the whisky market, it can be a daunting proposition due to the relationship-based nature of acquiring sought after whiskies.
Highland Cask Group are uniquely positioned to guide clients new and experienced alike through the opportunities to invest in whisky, be that through individual & collectable bottles or entire casks.
The Macallan was one of the first farm based distilleries in Speyside, created to use up spare barley in the winter months when farming was not taking place. It sits beside the River Spey and its 485 acre estate includes the Easter Elchies house which adorns every label today. The distillery was actually named after the house and called Elchies Distillery until the late 19th century.
The distillery was taken over by James Stuart in 1868 before being sold again in 1892 to Roderick Kemp whose descendants owned it all the way until 1996.
In the hands of Edrington, the distillery has become a huge luxury brand name globally, with rare old Macallan’s fetching some of the highest prices at auction when they go under the hammer. The company also expanded the distillery throughout the 2000s, finally committing to a huge £140 million expansion in 2013 which saw a completely new distillery built and capacity increased to a whopping 15 million litres per annum.
The distillery is still active and is now owned by Beam Suntory. The current capacity is 1,700,000 litres and its’ water source is the River Laggan.
During the World Wars Bowmore stop producing and for most of World War II they housed the RAF Coastal Command which conducted anti-submarine warfare missions. Currently the waste heat from the distilling process goes towards heating a local public swimming pool which is located in one of Bowmore’s old warehouses.
Now owned by Brown Forman, who saw its huge potential and purchased it – alongside Glenglassaugh and Glendronach – from Walker and Co for nearly £300 million in 2016. The current capacity of 2.8 million litres per annum supports a number of distillery own bottling from the company.
In 1868 Brown’s son William inherited the distillery and in 1872 completely demolished and rebuilt the site to be larger and more modern. The refurbishments took the distillery’s capacity to 50,000 gallons per year, a huge increase. The distillery continued to successfully operate through the whisky crash in the late 1800s which affected many others in the Speyside area, and it only shut for a brief period during World War II.
The distillery is still active and is now owned by Diageo. The main focus for the distillery is to produce malt for Diageo’s numerous blended whiskies as Linkwood is highly prized for its floral, delicate aroma that maintains a rich palate.
Matheson eventually sold the distillery to three brothers of the Mackenzie family. With them came their family crest, a 12 pointed Royal stag, which adorns each of the company’s whisky releases. This crest dates back to 1263 when Colin of Kintail, the chief of Clan Mackenzie, saved King Alexander III from a charging stag. Among other things, the right to use this as their clan crest was awarded to them by the King.
The distillery remained in family hands up until 1960 when it was sold to Whyte & Mackay, which in turn has been owned by a huge array of differing parent companies. One of the main figures to have seen the distillery grow over the past 53 years is the enigmatic Richard Paterson, the company’s master blender and well known whisky figure, who has carefully watched over the numerous releases.
The distillery has recently been undergoing a facelift which has seen a new visitor’s centre at its site on the banks of the Cromarty Firth. Renovations to its main production areas are also ongoing. The current capacity is around 4.3 million litres per annum.
The distillery – which means ‘Sound of Islay’ in Gaelic – had a rocky start, with a few failed attempts at running it by a series of well-intentioned whisky operators. By the 1920s, it had fallen into the hands of DCL, which would later become Diageo. The distillery is still active and continues to be owned by Diageo.
The distillery’s main purpose over the years has been to provide malt for blended whiskies although a limited selection is bottled as single malt. Its current capacity is 6.5 million litres per annum.
Due to its prevalence in blending, Caol Ila is less well known on the whisky tourist map compared to its fellow distilleries on Islay, but the distillery announced in 2018 that a major revamp was on the way and a new visitor’s centre is due to be in the near future.
The distillery’s exact history is a bit of a folklore mystery, with many debates about its original date of founding, although the bottles all state 1798 in reference to when distilling is ‘officially’ began to take place. Its name originates from the location in the Island’s region known as ‘High Park’.
Today, it is still active and is now owned by The Edrington Group.
The current capacity is 2.5 million litres of spirit per annum, and it is one of the few distilleries in Scotland to still do a proportion of its malted barley in house using its own Orcadian peat source to create a gently smoky characteristic.
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