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Best Whisky Investment Management Specialists 2023

Whisky Investment UK® is an award-winning company dedicated to the wholesale of cask whisky. The firm is approved and licenced by HMRC to store both bulk and casked whisky in duty suspense at any approved Scottish warehouse. We speak to Darren Hughes to find out more about the appetite for this unusual investment as the firm celebrates success in the UK Enterprise Awards 2023.
Dear WIUK,
As you are aware, it has been a long journey from initially being nominated, undergoing the research and judging stages, and finally being recognized for an award. We are now at the stage where your award can be shared with the world.
I am happy to announce that we have gone live on the SME News website with this year’s winners of the UK Enterprise Awards 2023.
The official press release –


Kind regards,
The Awards Team

Whisky industry launches Water Stewardship Framework

The Scotch Whisky industry has launched its Water Stewardship Framework as part of wider sustainability commitments.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has published a Water Stewardship Framework, offering research-based guidance for the Scotch Whisky industry as it works to improve efficiency and make reductions in its water use across the production process.
Water is one of just three ingredients for making Scotch Whisky and is used extensively across the production and cleaning process. Distilleries’ water use varies greatly according to capacity and location, but all are committed to using water as responsibly as possible in line with the industry’s wider sustainability commitments. As part of its Sustainability Strategy launched in 2021, the SWA set a target range of 12.5 to 25 l/lpa (the amount of water used per litre of alcohol produced) by 2025, depending on distillery size and production.
The Framework focuses on three key areas: Responsible use, Engagement and Collaboration, and Advocacy. These three themes aim to provide SWA member companies with clear direction on how they can address water use and efficiency improvement in their operations, while incorporating wider collaboration and advocacy activities. The Framework encourages a collaborative industry approach to deliver on-the-ground improvement projects and influence future policy to ensure the protection and preservation of a vital resource. Previous data analysed by the SWA showed that water efficiency – measured in l/lpa – had improved by 22% since 2012. The SWA will continue to gather data from across the industry to re-benchmark progress and set ambitious targets to take the sector beyond compliance on water.
Ruth Piggin, Director of Industry Sustainability at the SWA said: “Water is a precious resource which is vital as both an ingredient for making Scotch Whisky and a tool in its production. The Water Stewardship Framework is an action-orientated commitment to the industry’s continued work to improve water management, and a serious acknowledgement of the importance of water to nature and the wider environment surrounding industry sites.

“We have a duty of care to ensure our use of water is as efficient and responsible as possible.”

Ruth Piggin, SWA

“The impact of the climate crisis is already being felt in Scotland’s water supply chain, and while distilleries manage this well, we understand that we have a duty of care to ensure our use of water is as efficient and responsible as possible. We’re committed to working closely with stakeholders including SEPA, government bodies and other relevant parties, to further improve the industry’s water stewardship.”

Nathan Critchlow-Watton, Head of Water and Planning at SEPA, said: “Scotland may be renowned for its rain but, as we’ve seen already this year, it can be extremely vulnerable to periods of prolonged, dry weather and with climate change these are expected to become more frequent in the years ahead.

“The businesses that thrive in the face of this challenge will be those that recognise the link between environmental and economic prosperity. They will work with SEPA and others in their industry to build resilience, reduce their water use and have a well-established plan for when we experience water scarcity. These actions will reduce the need for SEPA to impose restrictions on their business.

“It’s reassuring to see the whisky industry being proactive, taking their responsibility to help protect Scotland’s water environment seriously, and contributing to its long-term sustainability for all those who depend on it.”

Download the Water Stewardship Framework here


Sampling Your Whisky Cask

Although owning a cask of whisky is fundamentally about leaving the cask in a secure bonded warehouse to mature, having a sample of your whisky is also a wonderful way of enjoying whisky cask ownership.
Whisky Investment UK® offer our clients the opportunity to receive samples of their whisky in the following sample sizes 100ml, 200ml, 500ml and 700ml.
Samples start from just £35 including posting a packaging.
Clients can take a sample as long as the whisky has matured for a minimum of 3 years and 1 day.
The sample will be cask strength, so adding water is advised especially if your cask has an ABV of over 55%.
Below we explore what is involved when the distillery / warehouse takes a sample from a cask of whisky, they typically follow a process like the one outlined below:
Preparation: The distillery staff will ensure they have the necessary equipment and materials ready for taking a sample. This usually includes a sampling thief, a glass or container to collect the sample, and a funnel.
Cask Inspection: Before extracting a sample, the distillery team will inspect the cask to ensure it’s in good condition and free from any visible defects or contamination.
Sample Location: The distillery staff will decide where to take the sample from within the cask. This could be from the bung hole, a specially drilled sampling port, or by using a sample valve if the cask has one installed.
Sanitization: To maintain hygiene and prevent contamination, the sampling equipment, including the thief, glass, and funnel, may be sanitized, or rinsed with a neutral spirit before use.
Extraction: The distillery worker will insert the sampling thief into the chosen location and extract the sample. A sampling thief is a long, narrow tube or pipette-like instrument that can be inserted into the cask to draw out the whisky without disturbing the contents significantly.
Collection: The whisky sample is collected in a glass or container, taking care not to spill or waste any of the precious liquid.
Tasting and Analysis: Depending on the purpose of the sample, the distillery may conduct a tasting and analysis to assess the whisky’s characteristics, including aroma, flavour, colour, and quality. This evaluation helps determine the whisky’s maturation progress and potential readiness for bottling.
Documentation: The distillery will record valuable information about the sample, such as the cask number, date, volume extracted, and any tasting notes or observations made during the process. This documentation helps maintain accurate records and traceability.
It’s worth noting that distilleries may have variations in their sampling procedures based on their individual processes, equipment, and cask types. Additionally, they must ensure compliance with legal requirements and industry standards throughout the sampling process.