Cask Whisky Association Established To Protect Whisky Cask Customers
The Cask Whisky Association (CWA) is a new organisation designed to create a safe environment for whisky enthusiasts and customers to buy and sell casks, launched on 21st September 2023.
The CWA is made up of two boards of Members and Advisors and includes cask whisky businesses, distilleries, independent bottlers, whisky experts and authors as well as legal and insurance professionals working within the sector.
By setting best practices in cask whisky ownership and sale, the Association aims to protect cask whisky customers and the wider whisky industry.
Chairman of the Advisory Board and spokesman for the CWA Colin Hampden-White says the Association’s goal is to uphold the overall reputation of the Scotch whisky industry.
“The Cask Whisky Association exists to protect private customers from unscrupulous business practices and traders and safeguard independent bottlers from over-inflated pricing and,” Colin says, adding: “Our Members and Advisors provide clear and transparent advice, assistance and assurance to any customer buying or selling cask whisky.”
Spiritfilled founder Russell Spratley who sits on the new CWA Executive Board says: “We are delighted to be founding members of this new important industry association, and are proud to be driving best practice within the whisky market”
“I decided to become a member because of my deep passion for the industry as a whole. Joining the association will allow me to connect with like-minded industry professionals and experts who share the same love and vision to help make positive changes in the ever-changing whisky landscape. Additionally, it will offer valuable educational opportunities, insights and the chance to contribute to the preservation and growth in this exciting industry.”
Wendy Chamberlain MP, Chair of the Scotch Whisky APPG, has today written to the business minister responsible for the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers Bill, seeking clarification on whether the new consumer legislation will increase protections for investors in cask whisky. She says in the letter: “Having met with the Cask Whisky Association, I am aware that there are many reputable organisations who want to provide good investment opportunities to enthusiasts and investors alike. The actions of bad actors in this field risk harming not only consumers, but the reputation of Scotch whisky and the long-term viability of the industry as a whole.”
The Association has also met with Lord Richard Harrington - who is leading the government review of foreign direct investment (FDI). Harrington said of the Association: “This type of cross-industry collaboration is welcomed. Where blind spots in regulation exist, such as in the cask investment space, it is encouraging to see different parts of the industry coming together to address the issues that emerge. Scotch is a true British success story so measures must be put in place to protect the integrity of the sector.”
Other MPs whom recognise the need to better protect investors are also lending their support to the Association.
Nickie Aiken, MP for Cities of London and Westminster, says: “I am delighted to hear of the great work of the Cask Whisky Association, which is being set up to educate and protect investors in the fast-growing cask whisky market. As the sector continues to grow, it's vital that adequate protections are in place for consumers and investors alike.”
The Association is in discussions with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the Worshipful Company of Distillers and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), seeking cooperation and collaboration to address issues in the sector. It is also petitioning The Bonded Warehousekeepers Association (The BWA) to gain their support.
Whisky expert and author Hans Offringa sits on the CWA’s advisory board. He says: “If you want to buy whisky go to a trusted company and get some advice, that way you will avoid any pitfalls. That’s why I think certification and licensing is so important; the Cask Whisky Association provides a quality hallmark for people looking to buy and invest in whisky. There are a lot of cowboys out there and we don’t want them to discredit good companies and ruin good business.”
Membership to the CWA is open to UK-based, financially-stable companies who uphold quality standards and retain all appropriate licences.
The CWA is a voluntary organisation open to all cask whisky companies. Applications will be reviewed semi-annually by the executive board and overseen by the independent advisory board.
Please visit Cask Whisky Association's website for further information.