WHISKY CASK CALCULATOR

Find out how much it costs to bottle a cask of whisky using our cask calculator

Buy quality whisky casks at a fair price with Mark Littler LTD

How Much Does It Cost To Bottle A Cask Of Whisky?

We have created our cask calculator to help you understand the costs involved in bottling a cask of whisky. We want you to be able to make an informed decision about buying and selling your cask of whisky so that you can buy quality whisky at a fair price.

Full guidance and an explanation for each section of the form are included below the calculator.

Whether you are looking at buying a cask and want some independent advice, or are looking into the options for selling your cask we are available to answer any additional questions, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Mark Littler is here to help with any of your questions about bottling a cask of whisky.
Mark Littler is here to help with any of your questions about bottling a cask of whisky.

Original Purchase Price of Cask (*)

£

VAT owing on purchase price

£

Total Cost Price

£

Bulk Litres (*)

ABV (%) (*)

RLA

Bottle Yield

Duty

£

VAT on Duty

£

Total Duty + VAT

£

Uplift of Cask to Bottling Plant & subsequent shipping of bottles to a UK address (use £700 if unknown) (*)

£

Bottling fees: Bottles, Bottling, Labels, capsules, cork, shipping boxes etc (£10/unit) plus VAT

£

Original Purchase Price of Cask

£

TOTAL BOTTLING COST

£

BOTTLED PRICE

£

Total price per bottle

£

How to use the cask calculator

Cask Price
Working example: purchase price £10,000, VAT £2,000, Total £12,000

Original Purchase Price

When you remove your cask from bond, VAT is payable at 20% on the original purchase price of the cask.

So, if you paid £2,000 for your cask you will owe HMRC £400 in VAT when the cask is removed from bond. Similarly, if you paid £20,000 you will owe £4,000 in VAT.

Use this section to enter the original price you paid to purchase your cask. Or if you haven’t brought your cask yet enter the price you are looking at paying.

Bottle Yield
Working example: Bulk litres 180, ABV 55%, Bottle yield 257

Cask Yield

Litres of pure alcohol is the industry standard to measure the yield of a cask. It is also what HMRC use to calculate the duty payable on a cask.

If you don’t know the bulk litres of your cask but you do know the RLA (regauged litres of alcohol) you can calculate the bulk litres using the following sum: RLA ÷ ABV % = bulk litres.

For example, if your RLA is 200 and your ABV is 50 your bulk litres will be 400 (200 ÷ 50%) .

Invest Whisky Cask (25)
Working example: 180 bulk litres = 99 LPA.99 x £28.74 =£2,845 duty, VAT on duty: £569, total inc VAT: £3,414

Duty

Duty + VAT is payable on each litre of pure alcohol in your cask as per HMRC Excise Notice 197.

The current rate is £28.74 per RLA + VAT.

Invest Whisky Cask (24)
Working example: Cask uplift and delivery, delivery of final bottles £700 (inc VAT)

Uplift and Shipping

Your cask is stored in bond and usually remains in bond while it is transported. Because of this, and the unusual nature of transporting a cask, uplift and transportation of casks is done by specialist transporters. Shipping multiple casks is not usually significantly more expensive than shipping one.

For calculation purposes this figure also includes the cost of shipping the bottled stock from the bottler to you.

Invest Whisky Cask (13)
Working Example: 257 bottles at £10+VAT: £3,086

Bottling Fees

In our experience £10 + VAT per bottle is the approximate cost for good quality labels and bottles.

This produces an attractive final product and includes the cost of labels, bottles, corks, capsules and boxes.

You can do it for as little as £4 per unit + VAT, but they look cheap, which is not ideal if you are looking to sell a premium product.

Invest Whisky Cask (11)
Working example: cask purchase price: £10,000. Taxes and bottling costs: £9,200. Total: £19,200. Total Cost Per Bottle: £75

Final Calculations and Cost Per Bottle

This shows your final costs and demonstrates the dramatic difference between your original purchase price and the final bottled price, which can often be more than double.

The price per bottle is the price you will have to charge per bottle in order to recoup your initial costs. This does not include any profit margin. Please see the Note on Margins & Additional Considerations sections for important points to know before you try and sell bottles of whisky.

Ouch!

From an initial purchase price of £10,000 the buyer may have predicted that their cost per bottle was only £39.  However, the final bottled cost is almost double the purhase price.  This brings the cost per bottle to £75.

Still, you might think there is a chance to profit.  But as with everything that looks too good to be true there is more bad news…

Standard Whisky Industry Margins

The whisky industry works on a 50-60% mark-up from wholesale to retail. If you want proof of this here is an excerpt from an information pack provided by an investment arm of Diageo with relation to how to price products:

You’ll want to be at 60% gross margin, with a plan in place to get to a margin above 60%. We’d suggest not starting production if your gross margin is not at least 50%.

What this means is that the prices you see in retail stores (i.e. the prices in whisky shops) include are 50-60% more than what you can expect to achieve when you sell your bottles.

investing in casks

Additional Considerations

There are two final points which you need to take into consideration when you are looking at bottling your cask. The first is that you need several licences to sell alcohol in the UK:

  • A personal licence
  • A premise licence
  • Membership of the Alcohol Wholesale Registration Scheme

Without these licences you are liable for a £20,000 fine and 6 months in prison as alcohol is a controlled substance.

The second thing you need to consider when you are thinking about bottling a cask, is that you most likely do not have a well-known brand to advertise and sell your bottles under.

This means that even for the highest quality casks, attractive bottles and successful application of the correct licences it can be difficult to sell your bottles to the public; as why would they choose to buy your un-proven bottle of whisky when they can go straight to the distillery and potentially buy something for the same, or less?

Questions?

If you have any quesions please email Mark Littler direct at [email protected] or call the office on 01260 218718.

Receive a free copy of our 52 page cask guide

Do you want to learn more about owning a cask of whisky and whether or not it is a sutiable invstment for you?

We have published a 52 page guide covering all the aspects of cask ownership.  To receive your free copy simple complete the form below and we will post a copy to you.

Cask Sign Up Complex
Address
Address
Town
County
Post Code

Advice You Can Trust

Since 2016 our aim has been simple – to provide a trustworthy source of information to help people make sound decisions when they are selling their items. To date we have sold millions of pounds worth of antiques and whisky (both casks and bottles) for our clients. 

We’re now applying this same logic to help people invest in casks of whisky.  Rather than providing sales pitches disguised as educational material, it’s our mission to become the ultimate source of open and honest cask investment guidance.

The information you will find in OUR GUIDE, CASK VIDEOS, BLOG and CALCULATOR is all designed to help you make a balanced decision.  We would rather you knew all the facts and didn’t buy a cask than buy one based on ‘fake news’.

Mark-Littler-Whisky-Broker-Square

How Much Does It Cost To Bottle A Cask Of Whisky?

We have created our cask calculator to help you understand the costs involved in bottling a cask of whisky. We want you to be able to make an informed decision about buying and selling your cask of whisky so that you can buy quality whisky at a fair price.

The calculator is quite complex so needs to be viewed on a desktop to work fully.

However, we can run you through an example: 

Cask Price

Original Purchase Price

When you remove your cask from bond, VAT is payable at 20% on the original purchase price of the cask.

So, if you paid £2,000 for your cask you will owe HMRC £400 in VAT when the cask is removed from bond. Similarly, if you paid £20,000 you will owe £4,000 in VAT.

Working example: purchase price £10,000, VAT £2,000, Total £12,000
Bottle Yield

Cask Yield

Litres of pure alcohol (LPA) is the industry standard to measure the yield of a cask. It is also what HMRC use to calculate the duty payable on a cask.

If you don’t know the bulk litres of your cask but you do know the RLA (regauged litres of alcohol) you can calculate the bulk litres using the following sum: RLA ÷ ABV % = bulk litres.

For example, if your RLA is 200 and your ABV is 50 your bulk litres will be 400 (200 ÷ 50%) .

Working example: Bulk litres 180, ABV 55%, Bottle yield 257
Duty

Duty

Duty + VAT is payable on each litre of pure alcohol in your cask as per HMRC Excise Notice 197.

The current rate is £28.74 per RLA + VAT.

It’s quite incredible that VAT is charged on top of Duty – it’s essentailly tax on a tax.  

Working example: 180 bulk litres = 99 LPA.99 x £28.74 =£2,845 duty, VAT on duty: £569, total inc VAT: £3,414

Receive a free copy of our 52 page cask guide

We have published a 52 page guide covering all the aspects of cask ownership.  To receive your free copy simple complete the form below and we will post a copy to you.

Cask Sign Up Complex COLLAPSABLE
Address
Address
Town
County
Post Code
Shipping

Uplift and Shipping

Your cask is stored in bond and usually remains in bond while it is transported. Because of this, and the unusual nature of transporting a cask, uplift and transportation of casks is done by specialist transporters. Shipping multiple casks is not usually significantly more expensive than shipping one.

For calculation purposes this figure also includes the cost of shipping the bottled stock from the bottler to you.

Working example: Cask uplift and delivery, delivery of final bottles £700 (inc VAT)
Bottle Fees

Bottling Fees

In our experience £10 + VAT per bottle is the approximate cost for good quality labels and bottles.

This produces an attractive final product and includes the cost of labels, bottles, corks, capsules and boxes.

You bottle forfor as little as £4 per unit + VAT, but they look cheap, which is not ideal if you are looking to sell a premium product.

Working Example: 257 bottles at £10+VAT: £3,086
Shipping

Final Calculations and Cost Per Bottle

This shows your final costs and demonstrates the dramatic difference between your original purchase price and the final bottled price, which can often be more than double.

The price per bottle is the price you will have to charge per bottle in order to recoup your initial costs. This does not include any profit margin. Please see the Note on Margins & Additional Considerations sections for important points to know before you try and sell bottles of whisky.

Working example: cask purchase price: £10,000. Taxes and bottling costs: £9,200. Total: £19,200. Total Cost Per Bottle: £75

Ouch!

From an initial purchase price of £10,000 the buyer may have predicted that their cost per bottle was only £39.  However, the final bottled cost is almost double the purhase price.  This brings the cost per bottle to £75.

Still, you might think there is a chance to profit.  But as with everything that looks too good to be true there is more bad news…

Standard Whisky Industry Margins

The whisky industry works on a 50-60% mark-up from wholesale to retail. If you want proof of this here is an excerpt from an information pack provided by an investment arm of Diageo with relation to how to price products:

You’ll want to be at 60% gross margin, with a plan in place to get to a margin above 60%. We’d suggest not starting production if your gross margin is not at least 50%.

What this means is that the prices you see in retail stores (i.e. the prices in whisky shops) include are 50-60% more than what you can expect to achieve when you sell your bottles.

Additional Considerations

There are two final points which you need to take into consideration when you are looking at bottling your cask. The first is that you need several licences to sell alcohol in the UK:

  • A personal licence
  • A premise licence
  • Membership of the Alcohol Wholesale Registration Scheme

Without these licences you are liable for a £20,000 fine and 6 months in prison as alcohol is a controlled substance.

The second thing you need to consider when you are thinking about bottling a cask, is that you most likely do not have a well-known brand to advertise and sell your bottles under.

This means that even for the highest quality casks, attractive bottles and successful application of the correct licences it can be difficult to sell your bottles to the public; as why would they choose to buy your un-proven bottle of whisky when they can go straight to the distillery and potentially buy something for the same, or less?

Questions?

If you have any quesions please email Mark Littler direct at [email protected] or call the office on 01260 218718.

Advice You Can Trust

Since 2016 our aim has been simple – to provide a trustworthy source of information to help people make sound decisions when they are selling their items. To date we have sold millions of pounds worth of antiques and whisky (both casks and bottles) for our clients. 

We’re now applying this same logic to help people invest in casks of whisky.  Rather than providing sales pitches disguised as educational material, it’s our mission to become the ultimate source of open and honest cask investment guidance.

The information you will find in OUR GUIDE, CASK VIDEOS, BLOG and CALCULATOR is all designed to help you make a balanced decision.  We would rather you knew all the facts and didn’t buy a cask than buy one based on ‘fake news’.

Learn More

Receive a free copy of our 52 page cask guide

Do you want to learn more about owning a cask of whisky and whether or not it is a sutiable invstment for you?

We have published a 52 page guide covering all the aspects of cask ownership.  To receive your free copy simple complete the form below and we will post a copy to you.

Cask Sign Up Complex MOBILE
Address
Address
Town
County
Post Code