The Wild West of Whisky: From Cask Investments to Dram Scams
The Food Programme · 29 minutes ·

The Wild West of Whisky: From Cask Investments to Dram Scams

Whisky has long been associated with money and wealth, but in recent years prices of rare casks and limited bottlings have soared. A cask of Islay whisky sold for a record-breaking £16 million last year, and the number of cask investment companies is growing, with many of them promising investors big profits and the chance to own their very own cask of Scotch whisky.

Behind the headlines and dollar signs, some industry experts are concerned at the practices of certain companies, worried that their promised returns are unrealistic and questioning their suitability to trade in some cases.

We hear from whisky consultant and broker Blair Bowman about the families whose inheritances have been put at risk, and why he feels many companies are “flying way too close to the sun”.

Jaega Wise speaks to Pete Allison from new Edinburgh whisky blender Woven about the rapid rise in cask prices, the impact it’s having on his business, and why he feels the bubble is destined to burst eventually.

Producer Robbie Armstrong meets Jennifer Rose, presenter of the Whisky Sisters podcast, to hear about her experience purchasing a cask of whisky, and why she ultimately decided to get out of the market while she still could.

Jaega also visits Holyrood Distillery to learn about their cask programme, which allows whisky aficionados to build a strong relationship with them as their whisky matures, and why they are clear that buying one of their casks is not an investment opportunity.

We also speak to Glenfarclas about a high profile £150,000 break-in at their distillery last year, while auction director Isabel Graham-Yooll gives her tips on spotting counterfeit whisky.

Presented by Jaega Wise.
Produced by Robbie Armstrong.

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