Cask Valuations

At Beamish International, we believe that what sets us apart from others in the industry is our robust track record of trust, transparency, and integrity.

We firmly believe that disclosure is crucial and serves the best interests of our existing and prospective clients when it comes to selling or buying whisky casks, or for insurance purposes.

 

Our Approach:

  • Our direct relationships with distilleries and whisky producers enable us to contextualise cask valuations, rather than viewing them in isolation.

  • We see cask valuations as complex tasks that require inputs from suppliers, official re-sellers, auction markets and our strategic partners.

  • As part of our in-depth cask valuation process, we work closely with some of the leading whisky experts and laboratories to verify the authenticity and quality of the liquid.

  • There are quite a few steps in our cask valuation process, but we don’t just stop there. As part of our project management service, we also help our clients with bottling, labelling, packaging, storage, delivery and sales within our private client network and through our partners.

 

Standard Valuation

Standard cask valuation report for clients looking to value/re-value their existing casks prior to sale, clients looking to purchase a whisky cask from a third party or valuations for insurance purposes.

Outcome: A cask valuation report with lower and upper price boundary and price midpoint.

 

Our Cask Valuation Methodology:

Our cask valuation methodology is conservative by design to avoid inflating or deflating cask prices in rising and falling markets. This approach allows us to accommodate both cask sellers and buyers equitably in all market conditions.

Stage 1: We typically begin our cask valuation process with in-depth market research. The first step involves contacting producers and distilleries to gather more information on the specific cask, as well as any directly comparable or similar whisky casks still maturing in their warehouses. Once we have this information, we assess sold and unsold lots in auction markets to gauge the current market sentiment for comparable whiskies. The final step in this stage involves sourcing data and intelligence from our data providers and partners, which serve as additional reference points in our cask pricing model.

Stage 2: By this stage, we have a comprehensive understanding of whiskies that are directly or indirectly comparable to the liquid contained in the cask. We also understand how its rarity profile might affect its price premium. This information directly determines which data points will be incorporated into our cask pricing model and which will be disregarded. After data cleansing is complete and all reference data points for our cask pricing model are identified, we begin by standardising all the prices into a consistent format. In our cask valuation process, the term ‘standardisation’ can have two distinct meanings: ‘adding’ and ‘removing’. We typically initiate our standardisation process by excluding the Spirit Duty, VAT, auction premiums, and any other non-relevant overheads. This is followed by either adding or removing the bottler premium. It’s worth noting that whisky bottled independently is typically valued at a 30–50% discount compared to official bottlings. This is because the distillery’s master distiller hasn’t overseen the cask throughout its entire maturation cycle. It also implies that the bottler can only mention where the whisky was distilled and must use their branding on the label.

Stage 3: The next stage in our cask valuation process involves using the above-standardised data points and plotting them on a two-dimensional graph. Once these data points are plotted, our cask pricing model enables us to derive a curve that aligns closely with the existing valuations, allowing us to provide an accurate valuation for the cask in question.

Stage 4: In the final stage of the cask valuation process, we produce a cask valuation report. This report encompasses all data points selected as inputs for our cask pricing model. Additionally, the report will feature references to data sources, prices in their original format, standardised prices, details of similar or comparable whiskies used as inputs, outputs from the cask pricing model presented both in table form and as a chart (up to the cask’s anticipated age of maturation), the cask’s lower and upper price boundaries, and its price midpoint.

Please be aware that our standard cask valuation reports do not incorporate scoring and tasting notes from recognised whisky experts and molecular testing from specialised whisky laboratories. If you desire these services as part of your cask valuation report, we’ll need two 100ml samples drawn from the cask. If you’re uncertain about how to extract a sample from the cask while it’s still maturing in a warehouse, the Beamish International team is here to assist you every step of the way.

 

If you would like to find out more about Beamish International’s Cask Valuation service, please contact our Head of Portfolio Management, Vladimir Zabnin