Create your own whisky?
Sounds dangerous, but this isn’t some sort of moonshining experiment. Caskshare is a new program from the Edinburgh-based Craft Whisky Club where, in lieu of buying full casks, you can reserve “shares” of customized single cask bottles.
“There are a bunch of private cask programs in the U.S., but those are all matured and either already bottled or ready for bottling,” explains David Nicol, co-founder of the Craft Whisky Club. “Here in Scotland you can also buy a whole cask, but that’s out of the reach of most of us. This is one of the reasons we created Caskshare, to bring down that cost barrier.”
So consider Caskshare a crowdfunding for whisky casks, but with lower costs (around $70-$90 per bottle) and a lot of creative input from the buyers themselves, who get to choose from a variety of wood types (ex-Four Roses bourbon, eChinquapin virgin oak, ex-Bordeaux Château Margaux red wine, ex-Speyside) and a choice between peated or unpeated spirit matured 3-12 years.
Single cask bottles are sent once the spirit has aged, which right now looks to be about 2022. “All of the currently listed casks are new make spirit, and in Scotland it’s a rule that the spirit must be matured for a minimum of three years,” Nicol tell us. “We have a 30L cask listed, and due to the increased liquid to wood ratio on small casks, the maturation time needed to get a good whisky is greatly reduced.”
Another advantage to the Caskshare program: The platform allows customers to trade bottles between each other.
Right now, the whisky you can use on Caskshare is limited to Scotland’s Isle of Raasay Distillery, which began distilling in 2017. However, Nicol says the company is currently in discussions with “4-5 other distilleries” and future offerings may include whisky choices sourced outside of Scotland.
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