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Private Casks

From time to time we offer a limited number of casks of Ardnamurchan new spirit to private individuals.

The original Loch Katrine Adelphi Distillery was founded in 1826 in Glasgow, producing whisky until the 1920’s, and continuing as a maturation site until 1970.

Adelphi was re-started in 1993 as an independent bottler and has built a global reputation for the highest quality single cask and limited edition whiskies.

In 2007 Adelphi decided to begin a feasibility study into a new distillery in Ardnamurchan, one of the most remote and spectacular parts of Scotland, and work commenced in early 2013 with completion just over one year later.

The Ardnamurchan Distillery has been built on traditional values, with the assistance of cutting edge techniques, to both preserve the natural cycle of Scotch whisky production and assure the utmost quality in the resulting spirit and finally, matured whisky.

Adelphi’s barley is largely being grown on Broomhall Farm next to its bottling warehouse in Fife. The distillery is 100% heated by locally sourced woodchip and the draff and pot ale, both by products of production, are being used to feed local livestock and fertilise surrounding fields.

The final, and arguably the most important part of creating the most complex whisky possible, is long term maturation in a gentle, damp climate, using only the very best, seasoned oak casks. To this end, Adelphi has constructed a 2 level dunnage warehouse built into the hillside, behind the distillery, and has spent several months sourcing the finest ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks.

The Adelphi “Dancey Man”, a mid-19th century cartoon, depicts Sir William Gladstone, performing an energetic Pas de Bas over an ear of barley to celebrate the passing of a new law that tax could only be raised on the amount of whisky left in each cask after maturation, and not the level that it was originally filled to. With the penalties for long term maturation lifted, Scotch whisky was kept in the cask until it was truly fit to consume.

We are delighted to offer you a very rare opportunity to purchase a new cask, or casks, of Ardnamurchan spirit. Only a small number of casks will be made available each year on a first come-first served basis.

The casks will all be matured next to the distillery in Ardnamurchan, and we have included 10 years of storage and insurance. Once the cask has matured, we will also look after the bottling for you.

We anticipate that most 1st fill casks will mature within 10 years, refill casks will take some time longer. If you do wish to store your cask with us for more than 10 years, we can provide associated storage and insurance costs at that time.

In the unlikely event that your cask is damaged or becomes empty during maturation, we will provide the nearest possible replacement cask in terms of distillation date and type of wood. Please note that you should allow for around 5% maturation loss in the first year, as the cask takes an “indrink” , and around 2% loss in subsequent years – this is known as the “Angels’ Share”.

On receipt of your order, we will issue you with an invoice for payment in full. Your cask will only be confirmed on receipt of payment. Once your cask is filled, we will issue and forward the certificate of ownership. Please note that casks are filled throughout the year and for 2024 peated spirt casks are scheduled to towards the end of the year. There will be no duty or VAT payable until the cask has matured and been bottled.

It has long been a saying among distillery workers that the wood makes the whisky. However, only in recent years has the truth of the adage been understood by sensory chemists.

Traditionally, the Scotch whisky industry acquires its wood, in the form of oak casks, from The USA, in particular Kentucky and Tennessee, and from the Spanish region of Jerez and its surrounds. Both American and Spanish oak are used for coopering the casks: American oak is usually better quality than Spanish, but does not possess the tannins that form the dark colours in some whiskies.

These casks have been once-seasoned either with Bourbon or Tennessee whisky, in the case of the USA, or Sherry, in the case of Spain. This seasoning prepares the oak to an ideal level of activity for receiving and maturing new make spirit that will become Scotch whisky.

The ex-Bourbon barrel has a volume of around 190 litres and is made of American oak.

The ex-Sherry hogshead has a volume of around 250 litres and can made from either American or Spanish oak. The hogshead has long been associated with the Scotch industry as it is the ideal size for rolling: not too small to involve bending to low, and not too large to be difficult to handle.

The ex-Sherry butt has a volume of around 500 litres and can be made from either American or Spanish oak.

Usually, the smaller the cask the quicker the maturation, as there is a greater ratio of wood to spirit, or whisky, but this will also depend on the individual level of activity that each cask possesses.

The casks will be stored in the traditional way on their sides, maximum 3 high. This will allow the relatively constant temperature and high humidity of the west coast of Scotland to create the perfect long term maturation climate.

We anticipate that the alcohol will reduce quicker than on the east coast, or central parts of Scotland, where the temperature fluctuates more vigorously, but the volume should remain higher. An excellent combination for encouraging flavour but diminishing the resulting duties that must be paid on alcohol content.

We can expect American oak to provide an overall sweetness, with hints of vanilla and coconut, and Spanish oak an initial sweetness, or richness, with darker, dried fruits like sultanas. The tannins in the Spanish oak also accelerate colour and can impart a drier finish, more suitable to a digestif style of whisky.

These flavours will of course marry with the unique style of our own Ardnamurchan spirit which is already showing a wonderful complexity of citrus fruits, creamy meringue and a hint of chilli pepper. While the unpeated spirit has just the slightest hint of peat from the water, we expect the peated spirit to add decent levels of smoke.

Please ensure that you have read and understood the Terms and Conditions before submitting your completed for. By submitting the form, you are agreeing to be invoiced for your order.

You can download our terms and conditions here.

Private Cask Sales Enquiry

Peated spirit 
American oak- ex bourbon barrel 190 - 200 Litres £3750
American oak- ex sherry hogshead 250 - 260 Litres £5500
Spanish oak- ex sherry hogshead 250 - 260 Litres £5500
American oak- ex sherry butt 500 Litres £9400
Spanish oak- ex sherry butt 500 Litres £9400


* This will be the first time that these casks have been filled with spirit made in Scotland (that will become whisky in 3 years time).

The wood will still be full of “activity ” and help ensure a relatively speedy maturation of around 10 years.

However, if you would prefer your whisky to take a longer time to mature, we may be able to source refill casks as well, price on demand.

** Filling levels are a guideline only. Each cask will have a slightly different capacity.

Personal Details

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Agree to the terms? 

Please check this box to confirm that you have read the terms and conditions for this offer and agree to be invoiced for this order. You also confirm that you are of the legal drinking age in your country of residence.