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Asked Questions

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How do I become a Founding Member of The Cask Club?

To become a Founding Member of The Cask Club, you will need to buy and keep a cask of rum in our first maturation biome, but being a member of The Cask Club is so much more than simply owning a rum cask. Please take a look at the bespoke membership benefits.

Is this similar to whisky cask purchases?

In some ways, yes! You are buying “new spirit” to be matured in a bonded maturation warehouse (our biome), where you don’t have to pay duty and VAT upfront, and your spirit is carefully stored to change over time. Uniquely though, you don’t have to wait a set period to legally be called ‘rum’ (whisky needs to age a minimum of 3 years in the UK/EU), and you can choose when you think your rum is at its peak. This is an exciting proposition as casks of rum rarely reach the open market. You can also choose from different styles to suit your palate. As with any cask purchase, there is an element of risk, and there are no guarantees as to the value of your spirit at the end.

What are the different rum styles?

We have blended 4 different distillate types using the expertise of world-renowned experts E&A Scheer, Mr Lyan Studio, and Ian Burrell to give you a range of options that would suit your own tastes. Each has been chosen to suit the maturation setting, with our bespoke blend which is tailored to our maturation biome. Each distillate style includes a proportion of Jamaican pot still rum.

What is rum made from and what is a distillate?

Rum is an alcoholic spirit made from distilling sugarcane juice or molasses. We refer to newly distilled spirit as distillate.

Are you distilling rum?

Not currently! For the time being, we’re focused on building a new technology that can create and mature characterful rums as well as preserving truly special batches. However, our maturation sites are unique in this journey, and The Cask Club is the first chance to be part of this development.

Where are the rums coming from?

The rums are sourced from E&A Scheer – master rum blenders, and the world’s largest and most respected importer and buyer of rums from around the world. Each of the rums has been carefully sourced and blended from the world’s best rum distilleries. Seeing these rums age in a new climate is a unique insight in and of itself – especially in the totally unique proposition of our maturation biomes! Each contains Jamaican rum, both for its excellence and history, but also for its suitability to maturation in our biome.

Can I choose different rums? Can I mix them?

We have bespoke packages for those who are part of The Cask Club, and this includes options for unique distillates and wood types.

When would my rum be ready?

This is up to you! Maturation is not about a number, so when the rum is ready is down to your own preferences, and how it resonates with your own unique palate. Cask Club members have insurance and maturation in our tropical biome for up to 5 years. If you feel your cask has matured before this period, it can be stored in our biome in “Preservation Mode”, which slows the maturation process down, offering the perfect conditions for the remaining time.

How much rum is in a cask?

We will be maturing rum in American Standard ‘Barrel’ casks, which hold 200 litres of spirit. These casks are normally made using American white oak, and predominantly used to mature bourbon.

What return can I expect on my cask?

A rule of thumb would be a 10% ROI (return on investment) on maturing rum liquid in the secondary market, but this is, of course, subject to a number of factors that can affect it’s value and is of course not a guaranteed return. But this is also an opportunity to own something bespoke, unique – on a global scale – and a chance to have something that others cannot buy.

What additional taxes and duties will I have to pay when I choose to bottle my rum?

This depends on whether you are bottling your rum in the UK or exporting it internationally, including to the EU, which will also depend on whether the UK secures a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU.

Excise Duty and VAT are only payable when the cask leaves our biome (a bonded warehouse). If you choose to sell your cask whilst still ‘under bond’, Excise Duty and VAT are not payable. Whilst the rum is in the cask it is considered a wasting asset by HMRC (an asset with a predictable life of 50 years or less), and is not liable for Capital Gains Tax. When you bottle your rum, it is no longer a wasting asset (as it can’t evaporate in the bottle), and Capital Gains Tax may become payable. You will also need to get proper licences if you wish to sell your bottles and may need to pay income tax on the profits.

Excise Duty and VAT are calculated at the current rate at the time the rum leaves the biome (bonded warehouse), based on your purchase price of the cask, the final volume and strength of rum remaining in the cask. For example, if after 5 years of maturation, you have 120 litres of rum with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 55%, using the current rate of Excise Duty (£28.74 per Litre of Pure Alcohol), the Excise Duty payable will be £1,896.84 (120 litres * £28.74 x 55% ABV). The VAT payable will be based on the new total of the original cask purchase price plus the Excise Duty, e.g. with a £5,500.00 cask purchase price + £1,896.84 Excise Duty = £7,396.84 + VAT at 20% = £1,479.37. The total price of the cask of rum, now geothermally matured for 5 years will be £8,876.21, or £73.96 per litre (at 120 litres) or £51.77 per 70cl bottle of rum, assuming it is bottled at a final cask strength of 55% (approximately 170 x 70cl bottles), which we believe offers very good value.

Under the new UK Global Tariff which takes effect from 01 January 2021, most spirits including rums attract a ‘nil’ percentage duty rate. Whether the UK reaches a Free Trade Agreement, (FTA), with the EU or whether the UK trades with the EU on WTO terms, it is not anticipated that customs duty will apply to our casks. (By way of note, and in the worst possible scenario, the customs duty on a 200-litre cask would be circa only £55.00).

For international exports, the cask is zero-rated for VAT and no VAT is due. If the cask remains duty suspended, Excise Duty and Customs Duty remain suspended.

This information is provided as guidance only. Although we are here to help to make things as easy, transparent and simple as possible, please always take professional legal advice with regard to your tax responsibilities.

What options do I have when my cask is matured?

You can choose to bottle your rum, purchase additional maturation time turning your 5 year old rum into an 8 year or 10 year old rum, or sell your cask on to another buyer.

How many bottles of rum will I have at the end?

Again, this will vary given your choices, but one could expect circa 200 bottles of rum at cask strength after maturation, depending upon how long the cask has been maturing, how much “Angel’s Share” has been taken, and what alcohol strength you decide to bottle your cask at.

Can you help me bottle my rum when its matured?

Yes, we can advise on costs, options, and arrange bottling for you.

What is the Angel’s Share?

The “Angel’s share” is the term used for the amount of spirit loss from the cask during the ageing process, due to evaporation.

What are the risks involved?

The Cask Club members are helping us invest together in a sustainable future, and a significant proportion of the purchase price will be used to fund and construct the project. It is our aim to lay all casks down in the late summer of 2022, subject to planning permission and successful fund-raising. In the event we are unsuccessful in completing the project, you will still receive your cask(s) of rum which matches its original description, but if we have been unable to build our tropical maturation biome, then we may not be able to tropically mature your cask(s), however, we will find an alternative facility in which we will mature and insure your cask for up to 5 years. Your ROI (return on investment), final liquid profile and value cannot be guaranteed. Please always take professional legal advice on your tax responsibility.

What is the difference between tropical and continental maturation?

Our biome balances heat and humidity to create a conditioned environment that works in harmony with our rums and setting. Crucially, they are conditions that are created in a carbon-neutral manner and form a harmony between the landscape, the plant life within the biomes, and the conditions for maturing spirits.

In tropical climates, there is usually high humidity and high heat. This leads to a more rapid extraction of wood sugars, and a different rate of evaporation. In the damp, cold conditions of Scotland, evaporation is usually around 2% per annum, this can increase to 10% for tropical settings. But factors such as daily temperature change, humidity, light and air – plus what is surrounding the barrels – can all influence the character of the spirit maturation. We have taken insight from tropical and continental maturation styles to find a balance between all the elements to reflect the best trajectory for our spirits.

Will I get proof of ownership of the cask I purchase?

Yes. Once your purchase has completed and full payment has been confirmed as received, you will be emailed confirmation of your purchase, including login details of your own private The Cask Club account which will automatically be created for you. Your account will allow you to see your transactions and cask details. We will also email you a digital Certificate of Ownership.

Can I remove the cask when I decided to bottle my rum?

Ownership of the cask within which your rum is maturing remains that of The Cask Club (CGDC Ltd), so that we can recycle and re-use it to mature more rum.

Can’t find the answers you’re looking for?

Send us a message and we’ll be able to answer any other questions you may have.

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