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Regauging Glenrothes Hogsheads

Updated: Mar 7

Why Cask Capital director Jared Cave purchased these Glenrothes casks.

Glenrothes Distillery in Speyside region
Built in 1878 next to the Burn of Rothes, Glenrothes Distillery is arguably one of the most picturesque distilleries in the whole Speyside region.

Back in December 2020, Cask Capital director Jared Cave purchased two Glenrothes hogshead casks. These casks were filled in May 2014, so they were just six years old at the time.  

 

The Glenrothes distillery was built in 1878 in the town of Rothes, right in the heart of Scotland’s Speyside region. The first spirit production took place on December 28th, 1879, the same day as the Tay Bridge disaster! Nowadays, it is one of the most sought-after Speyside whiskies globally, with exports to Europe, Asia, and the US, and is a regular feature in travel retail.  

 

A random, interesting fact about this distillery is that it is one of the few to have its own cooperage on site. Jared selected these casks for investment as the Glenrothes brand has a great history and more importantly is a brand very popular with highly respected independent bottlers such as Gordon & Macphail, Signatory, and North Star, to name a few. Investors should never forget that whisky was distilled in order to be drunk.  So picking a popular distillery brand used by the big players in this game makes perfect sense. 


But perhaps more interestingly, he knew that Edrington Group, the parent company of The Macallan, had bought the Glenrothes brand from Berry Brothers & Rudd in May 2017 and had reunited it with the Glenrothes distillery in Speyside. They had big plans to market it alongside their other premium brands, The Macallan and Highland Park.  

 

Glenrothes single malt whisky bottle
A 1986 Glenrothes single malt from independent bottler North Star Spirits that was initially matured in a refill hogshead and finished in an oloroso hogshead, before being bottled in September 2022 at an ABV of 44.1%



Just before this sale took place, Berry Brothers & Rudd placed its Glenrothes cask stock on the open market, making hogsheads and butts available to independent bottlers and investors alike. The Glenrothes Distillery ceased selling casks with The Glenrothes naming rights after the sale was completed. 


Nowadays, the only casks released by them carry the distillery’s ‘B’ brand name, Glen Shiel. These are not sold with Glenrothes naming rights, which means that there is now a finite number of Glenrothes casks available to independent bottlers. This fact will help these pre-sale casks appreciate over time as they become rarer and rarer with each bottling.  

 

Fast-forward to December 2023, and these two hogsheads were transferred to their new home, a bonded warehouse in Scotland, where they will continue to mature until ready to bottle. Upon their arrival, both casks were checked to see how the ABV had reduced over time and what the angels share had been in almost ten years.  

 

Despite being filled on the same day and having almost sequential numbers, the ABV and RLA differed a fair bit! The angels obviously preferred cask 2! 


Filled in May 2014 at an ABV of 68.8% and an OLA of 173.8, the new readings were:

 

Whisky casks getting checked
Glenrothes hogsheads being dipped to check their readings in their new bonded warehouse home.

Cask 1 ABV 65.65% and an RLA of 149.18 l 

Cask 2 ABV 64.52% and an RLA of 121.46 l 

 


These casks still have a very high ABV one decade later, which is great because it means they could produce some very old and very valuable bottles in the future. We’re certainly looking forward to trying the samples over time to monitor the maturing whisky so we know when it’s ready to go into glass!  

 







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