Purchasing a cask of Scotch Whisky may be the ultimate prize for a Whisky enthusiast; however it has many pitfalls and very few casks of single malt are actually sold by distillers to the general public.
When considering buying a cask of Whisky, where available, the full cost of purchase needs to be borne in mind. These costs include a number which may not be obvious: warehousing at the distillery (storage until ready to bottle - which could be years), insurance, bottling costs and of course duty and VAT. Nonetheless, there is still a handful of distillers that will sell a limited number of casks each year. See list below of examples:
Glenglassaugh Distillery's cask offer
Isle of Arran Disitillery's cask sales
How to purcharse a Cask from Tullibardine distillery
Glengoyne distillery's cask offers
The Scotch Whisky Association offers some sensible advice for anyone thinking about purchasing a cask of whisky:
Can Scotch Whisky casks be purchased as an investment??
The SWA is unable to offer advice on the purchase or sale of Scotch Whisky, but it is important that potential investors understand the nature and risk of the whisky market before making decisions. While new fillings and matured whisky are sometimes purchased as a form of speculation with the intention of reselling them at a profit, it should be emphasised that only an extremely small proportion of the whisky distilled in Scotland is bought and sold in this way. All the principal blending companies finance their own stocks of whisky, and buy mature whisky only on rare occasions when they happen to find themselves short of a particular type or make. There is no organised 'Whisky Exchange' as exists for other commodities, nor is there any officially recognised list of buying and selling prices for whisky of different types and ages. It should be remembered that, whilst the cask matures in a warehouse, there will be annual storage and insurance charges, and evaporation will reduce the spirit in the cask. Bottling small quantities of whisky can be expensive, and of course there will also be excise duty and VAT to pay. Investment for resale is expensive and highly speculative and should not be entered into lightly."
Reprinted from the Scotch Whisky Association Website