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The Rare Whisky Shop
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We have provided some frequently asked questions regarding selling below. If you have any other questions which are not covered here, please get in touch.

Barrel Information & FAQ

Why is whisky aged in oak barrels?
whisky is aged in oak barrels for a multitude of reasons. The most important reason being that the chemical compounds in the wood enhance the flavours of the whisky. Another is when made into casks, oak wood can hold over 500 litres.

Is Scotch aged in charred barrels ?
Scotch whisky is aged in charred barrels to improve the quality of the whisky. Charring or “toasting” the cask converts the wood sugars into vanilla and caramel flavours.

Are whisky barrels charred?
Whisky barrels are charred by burning the inside of the barrel. The exposure to flames causes the inside of the barrel to form harsh grooves and the surface is broken down. This is essential to adding colour and flavour to the spirit.

What does the age of a whisky mean?
The age of a whisky is the length of time the whisky was matured for in the cask.
flavour from the cask and may be re-milled, revealing an entirely new surface in the cask.

What is a quarter cask?
A quarter cask is a cask of whisky that contains around 80 litres. This compares to the standard Hogshead which contains around 225-250 litres. They are used as they mature the whisky quicker and allow the distilleries to get more whisky to market.

What is a bourbon cask?
A Bourbon cask is a cask that has been used in the production of making bourbon whisky. These are made from American oak and charred on the inside. The layer of charcoal produced from the charring acts as a filter that removes impurities. By law, a cask can only be used once to make bourbon.

What is a sherry oak?
Sherry oak means that the oak cask was originally used to mature sherry. These casks are the most expensive types of cask used in the maturing of Scotch whisky.

General Cask FAQ

What are your fees?
We have a web exclusive flat brokerage fee of 5%

How do I sell a cask of whisky?
Firstly we provide you with an indicative valuation of your cask and then send the details to our network of international clients to attain a full valuation. Both valuations and offers are free of charge and there is no obligation to accept an offer.

How much is a cask of whisky worth?
The price of a cask depends on many different factors. The most important factors are; distillery, year of production, cask type, age, Original litres of alcohol when cask was filled, remaining bulk litres.

How much whisky is in a cask?
There are several sizes of barrels used in the making of Scotch whisky. The most common are:
• Quarter cask 45-50 litres.
• American Standard Barrel 190-200 litres.
• Hogshead 225-250 litres.
• Barrique 250-300 litres.
• Puncheon 450-500 litres.
• Butt 475-500 litres.
• Machine Puncheon 500 litres.
• Port Pipe 550-650 litres.
• Drum 600-650 litres.

What is a cask of whisky?
A cask of whisky is a volume of whisky which is maturing in a barrel. The barrels are made of oak and were most likely used for another purpose (such as making sherry or bourbon) before being filled with spirit.

What is a hogshead cask?
A hogshead cask is a barrel made from oak used to mature Scotch whisky. Due to their slightly larger size are ideal for maturing whisky for a long period of time. It contains 225-250 litres of alcohol.

What kind of barrels are used to make Scotch?
The barrels used to make Scotch whisky have often been previously used for making fortified wine, sherry and spirits such as rum and bourbon.

Step 1 of 2

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  • What distillery is your cask from?
  • When was your cask filled ?
  • Hogshead, barrel, butt etc

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