Ex­cep­tional Elixirs

Robb Report Singapore - - Savour - By JEMIMA SIS­SONS

For some whisky afi­ciona­dos, a bot­tle of pre­mium rare scotch is enough of a vic­tory ac­qui­si­tion. For oth­ers, only their own cask of the good stuff will suf­fice. And then some want to go fur­ther still. In­creas­ingly, for those who want it just so – per­haps a 30-year-old Glen­fid­dich housed in a re­fill ex-bour­bon cask at the dis­tillery, then reracked in an ex-sherry cask by a spe­cial­ist bro­ker – the only way to do this is via the spe­cialised world of be­spoke spir­its. Al­though that pur­suit can start at a rea­son­able few thou­sand dol­lars, once con­nois­seurs get to cu­rat­ing their own casks of aged Ma­callan or blend­ing their own am­ber from ghost dis­tillers, prices can quickly rise into the US$2.5 mil­lion range.

Cask 88 is one such ser­vice, where cus­tomers can cre­ate their own be­spoke whisky by buy­ing a youngish cask, re­hous­ing the liq­uid in dif­fer­ent woods and dic­tat­ing when it is bot­tled. The com­pany is in close con­tact with ware­houses and pri­vate own­ers of casks across Scot­land, keeps a beady eye on auc­tions and oc­ca­sion­ally goes di­rectly to a dis­tillery to source a spe­cial bar­rel. But the old and rare casks, which make up the ma­jor­ity of the ones Cask 88 trades, are found on the sec­ondary mar­ket.

The whisky can be fin­ished in a hand-cut crys­tal de­canter, and cus­tom art­work may grace the bot­tle.

“This is re­ally for those who are look­ing for some­thing of a par­tic­u­lar age or dis­tillery, that’s been dis­tilled in a spe­cific year, and is largely wanted for them­selves, a loved one, or child,” says Jonny Fowles, Euro­pean sales di­rec­tor for Cask 88. “If we don’t have some­thing spe­cific, we can rec­om­mend dif­fer­ent flavour pro­files.” Prices range from US$2,000 for a young cask from a High­land or Spey­side dis­tillery in re­fill oak to US$2.5 mil­lion for an aged Ma­callan or Dal­more cask. A concierge from Cask 88’s Ed­in­burgh of­fice will guide clients through the process to find a be­spoke cask, whether

“If we don’t have some­thing spe­cific, we can rec­om­mend

dif­fer­ent flavour pro­files.”

Go be­yond the mere prizedbot­tle and ac­quire – and age – your own bar­rel of Scotch. Fac­ing page: a rare cask of Ja­panese whisky sourcedby Cask 88.

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