As part of our ongoing video guide series about selling casks of whisky we have made a short video about what a regauge is and why it is important.
A regauge is the method in which the volume of whisky within a cask is calculated.
When you’re asking for a regauge, you’re essentially asking the warehouse to test that casket of whisky and see how much whisky is left inside of it.
Now once you get the regauge, it will tell you two things. It will tell you the bulk litres. So how many litres of liquid are left in that cask as a whole. So for instance, 200 bulk litres. And then it will also tell you the ABV or the alcohol by volume. So the strength of the alcohol. So it might be 50%. and then finally from those two figures, you’ll be able to calculate the RLA or the regauge litres of alcohol. Now, this is essentially if you’ve got 200 bulk litres at 50%, you’ve got a hundred litres of pure alcohol. Now that is the factor that is important when you’re calculating prices, and we cover this in another video, and likewise, it’s the RLA figure that HMRC will use to calculate the duty owing on the cask of whisky if it was to be removed from bond and bottles.
Now regauge is important because it tells you… It’s like the health check or an MOT of your cask. Now the most important factor to look at other than how much whisky is remaining is the ABV. If the ABV drops below 40% then that liquid is no longer able to be classed as whisky. So even if you’ve had a cask for 20 years and you’re planning to hold it for another 10 years, get that cask regauged immediately. It might be the fact that you’re down to 42% ABV. So you really need to sell that cast quickly.
Now likewise, a regauge will tell you how many litres of liquid are inside that cask. So if you started off with a hogshead which contains 250 bulk litres of liquid, after 10 years you might have 200 litres of whisky. But at the same time it’s important to remember that casks can leak, and if you’ve hit a leak and you’ve not noticed or the warehouse operators haven’t noticed, you could be down 50 or 100 litres. So it’s important that you get that remedied, or to get that problem fixed immediately and raise it with the warehouse or insurance provider.
So a regauge is a way of measuring what liquid is left inside of a cask of whisky after a number of years. And the two most important factors that it will tell you are the regauge litres of alcohol and the ABV. They’re important because that’s what the value of a cask of whisky is based upon.