Still Spirit Whisky Cask Specialists


Our Most Frequent Questions - Still Stuck? Get In Touch

Whisky Cask Terminology

What are the different sizes of casks?

The standard volume of casks (when full) are shown below, however please note there can be variance on the 'standard' full volume of casks as they are handmade and as a result have natural discrepancies.

Barrel – 200 litres
Hogshead – 250 litres
Butt – 500 litres

What does the ABV of the cask mean?

ABV stands for ‘Alcohol By Volume’ which tells you the alcohol strength of the whisky and is stated as a percentage. Whisky casks are typically filled at a strength of 63.5% when the spirit is first filled.

What is a regauge and what is RLA?

A regauge is when the cask is opened and measured to calculate the Bulk Volume, ABV and the RLA which stands for ‘Regauged Litres of Alcohol’.

RLA represents the litres of pure alcohol remaining in the cask at that time.  For example, a cask with 100L (Bulk) at 40% ABV has a 40L RLA.

A cask regauge is essential before purchase, re-selling or bottling a cask as it gives an up-to-date reading of volume (and hence estimated number of bottles) and strength.

What does Bulk Litres mean?

Bulk litres is a measurement of the total litres of liquid in a cask, the combined total of pure alcohol and water. For example, a cask filled with 200 bulk litres at 60% ABV would have 120 reguaged litres of alcohol (60% of 200).

What does Angel’s Share mean?

When whisky is slowly maturing in its cask, a very small amount of whisky evaporates through the wood and into the atmosphere which is referred to as the Angel’s Share. This results in a small decrease in the ABV and RLA over long periods of time.

Cask Ownership Process

Can I get a sample to try the whisky before I commit to purchasing the cask?

Yes absolutely and we encourage it! Browse our list of available casks to order a sample or speak to a Still Spirit expert.

How will storage and insurance work?

We will store casks in our dedicated, private warehouse.  We offer 2 storage options for customers - 'Standard' and 'VIP', refer to the 'Cask Buying Process' page for more information.

We also fully insure the casks for buyers on their behalf which is charged at an annual premium of 1% (+ VAT) of the cask value.

What is a duty representative license, and does it apply to me?

This only applies if you live outside the United Kingdom. To own a cask as an overseas buyer you must appoint a 3rd party duty representative who will make sure the correct duty is paid on the cask to HMRC when any whisky is bottled.  Still Spirit has this license and will act as your duty representative as required.

What is Delivery Order?

A Delivery Order is a letter which legally transfers ownership from one owner to another. It will list all the cask details and must be signed by both the buyer and the seller plus verified by the warehouse where the cask is held that the transfer of title has taken place.

What are my options to resell my cask?

We can assist in a number of ways when it comes to exiting your cask purchase, from bottling to re-purchase offer or by re-selling the cask via our auction platform Whisky Hammer.  We can also prepare annual re-valuations of your casks to monitor value progress.

Whisky Hammer has sold over 100 casks for existing clients, with individual casks selling from £1,000 all the way up to £900,000 – see our historic cask sales here.  In 2022, Whisky Hammer broke the record for the highest value cask ever sold at auction.

Our extensive connections in the whisky trade (and with independent bottlers) help us to strengthen the final value of your cask.  The exit/re-sale can be fully flexible to suit your needs – for example you may wish to bottle a certain number of bottles of your cask for family/friends and sell the remainder – our team can assist with any structure that best fits for you.

Tax & Governance

Do I have to pay capital gains tax?

Whisky casks are classified by HMRC as a ‘wasting asset’ and are not subject to Capital Gains Tax. Wooden whisky casks are naturally porous, and a small amount of whisky evaporates each year (link Angel’s Share). A wasting asset is an asset with a predictable life of 50 years or less. The vast majority of casks do not age past 50 years because by that time the ABV has usually dropped below 40% and after that point cannot be bottled as Scotch whisky.

We are not tax experts and so we do advise our clients to seek personal tax advice as we cannot take responsibility for individual tax matters.

Is the whisky cask market regulated?

No. The purchasing and trading of casks is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who govern ‘regulated’ financial investments.

Who oversees cask ownership in the UK?

The database of all casks currently under bond in the UK is under the control and regulation of HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). All warehouses storing casks in-bond must have the proper licenses to store alcohol and pay the relevant duty upon bottling.

How do I get proof my cask is real?

Photos of each cask and the sample are available. We also have samples drawn from each cask ready to send to you so you can taste before your purchase. For the ultimate assurance we would be happy to book an appointment to visit your casks.

What are your cask warehouse details? Is it HMRC approved?

Our cask warehouse was newly constructed in 2023 and has all necessary HMRC approvals required for storage of casks "in bond" (under duty suspension).  The warehouse details are shown below:

Address : Still Spirit Ltd, Udny, Ellon, AB41 7PR

Warehouse ID : GB00004388119

Our Scottish registered Company (Still Spirit Ltd, SC524004) also has necessary HMRC approvals required to act as a registered owner, as well as act as a Duty Representative for non-UK cask owners.

Authorised Warehousekeeper Excise ID : GBWK338354500

Duty Representative Excise ID : GBDR338354500

EORI # : GB338354586000

VAT # : GB338354586 

Bottling A Cask

Can I draw bottles from the cask whenever I want?

Yes but we don’t recommend doing this too often. Generally we recommend taking out bottles for personal use is best to do once a year.

What are the requirements for the label?

The Scotch Whisky Association regulates all label designs which must have the ABV, product of Scotland, and a classification of the type of whisky (single malt, blend, etc). Outside of that you can design creatively as long as it does not infringe on any brand trademarks or copyrights.

What options do I have for selecting the glass bottle and outer packaging?

There is a wide range of bottle shapes and boxes available from standard bottles to crystal decanters. Our Still Spirit team can assist with these details and we try to always keep some options readily available for clients to use.

Can I get the bottles shipped to anywhere in the world?

Still Spirit are a team of knowledgeable whisky cask specialists, so we can ship whisky to most countries.  There are some strict rules on not allowing alcohol to be imported.  Our expert Still Spirit team can advise on which countries we can send to at the point of bottling.  Each country has different import duties so be sure to check local import costs accordingly.