Recently I was approached regarding two casks that were for sale and the client would not provide a sample. I would like to make it clear that I won’t purchase an entire cask of matured Whisky without a sample and I’m surprised when other organization’s do unless it’s not a part of their business plan.
Prior to any acquisition I taste test and from that I can decide the best way to go forward with the Whisky; further maturation, finishing, release or off-load. It’s also important to note here the big difference between buying older Whisky and younger Whisky; older Whisky you have a stronger idea of the finished product because it is close to or essentially is finished, you can finish it in a different cask and add some additional flavours but you have the body. With younger Whisky you are attempting to gauge potential and there is greater room to adapt or change the body by placing it in a different cask at an earlier stage because with greater and longer wood exposure you change the flavour – when buying younger casks you can afford to be a bit less discerning and the cost is usually lower too.
Lady of the Glen as a brand has developed over four years now and I like to think it enjoys a solid reputation for releasing high quality single cask Whisky and this has been achieved by not compromising on quality – it’s our most important cask selection criteria. Given that the market for independent bottling can be so varied I felt that consistency was important to ensure and inspire custom confidence. One of the key accusations of independent bottlers is that of releasing or flipping casks to cover immediate capital costs which can result in a particular source providing a mixture of releases over time and as a result customers are not 100% confident they are getting a good Whisky each time they buy.
So if you would like to sell a cask please be aware that I will require a sample, it is not meant as a sign of distrust or to acquire free samples for the sake of it – it’s because I put my name on each bottle!