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Cask whisky specialist eyes Asian market

Published:  05 July, 2021

London-based Cask Trade is opening an outpost in Hong Kong following an “unprecedented” spike in demand from the region.

The stockist, which boasts one of the largest inventories of cask whisky on the market, will be opening in the Admiralty District of Hong Kong which will be used as a hub to service the whole of Asia.

Founded in 2018, the specialist operates a cask-only model which it is now looking to translate to the booming Asian market while allowing customers to buy at UK prices.

The move follows what managing director Simon Aron calls unprecedented growth in the market over the past couple of years. Cask Trade has seen a 25% increase of their existing business in Asia since it was founded three years ago and expects to see further increase of a minimum of 25% in sales for the entire business by having a physical presence in the region.

“By opening in Hong Kong, we are addressing a demand from existing and potential customers throughout Asia offering direct access to casks for whatever purpose, at competitive UK prices with complete transparency and a seamless service,” Aron said.

“Our company is all about an authentic marketplace for buying and selling casks of whisky. We have multiple exit strategies, including our online auction for casks. We want to supply all bottlers, investors and of course, whisky lovers. I think the Asian market will be both surprised and delighted with our competitive prices.”

According to market analyst Euromonitor, whisky is on the rise in Asia. By 2022, the value of all whisky sales in China is expected to reach around £2.2 billion – a 38.6% rise on 2018 and the equivalent of 23.65 billion litres.

Direct exports from the UK meanwhile saw a huge increase from around £1.4m in 2000 to around £89m in 2019, reaching a compound annual growth rate of over 24% during that time. Around 25 bottles of Scotch whisky are exported to China every minute.

“For many years I have had the pleasure of helping customers from all over Asia who appreciate cask strength whisky to taste and purchase,” said Sir Colin Hampden-White, director of Cask Trade HK, who is also a Keeper of the Quaich.

“I’m very excited Cask Trade is opening an office in Hong Kong where I can personally host tastings and be a part of our customer’s journey in selecting and buying cask whisky.”

Founded in partnership with several of the world’s foremost whisky masters, founder Aron established the company after suffering “many false promises from whisky investment companies”.

Inspired to create a trustworthy market place for collectors investors and bottlers, Cask Trade only sells casks it owns outright and only sells whole casks. It is not a whisky cask broker and it does not offer fractional sales.

The company’s casks are held in HMRC bonded warehouses and deals in Scotch, Irish whisky, Cognac, Armagnac and also rum, all by the cask.