Okanagan distillery selling single-malt whisky by the barrel

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Kelowna’s Forbidden Spirits Distilling is offering a unique investment opportunity, according to owner Blair Wilson.

“We’re selling single-malt whisky in a barrel,” Wilson told Global News.

The company’s new Wallace Hill Whisky is now available to purchase by the barrel or the half-barrel.

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In Canada, Scotland and Japan, that’s whisky with a ‘y’ — not whiskey, as it’s known in Ireland and the U.S.

“You are going to taste hints of vanilla, caramel and a smokey oak flavour,” Wilson said in describing their single malt whisky.

An entire oak barrel’s worth of Wallace Hill Whisky will set you back $6,000.

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However that $6,000 doesn’t include the tax man’s share, which according to Wilson, currently amounts to three dollars a bottle, or $600 per barrel.

A barrel contains 200 bottles, at 200 millimetres each, of what the Scottish refer to as ‘the water of life.’

A single bottle of Wallace Hill retails for $58 plus tax.

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According to Wilson, buying a barrel represents a savings of about 45 per cent.

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However, there’s a catch to the bulk-buying of Wallace Hill Whisky.

And the catch is that you have to wait for the whisky to age before you can enjoy, because Wallace Hill is just out of the still.

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“The biggest thing about whisky that adds to how great it tastes is age,” said Wilson.

“The longer whisky can stay in the barrel, the better. And in Canada, it’s against the law to sell whisky that is not at least three years, old, so we have to start today.”

So barrel buyers don’t actually receive the barrels because the whisky will age inside the distillery.

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But Forbidden Spirits will keep whisky investors up-to-date on how their whisky is coming along.

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“Every three months, we send out samples of how their barrel is slowly aging,” Wilson said.

So buying a barrel of Wallace Hill Whisky is really more of an investment in boutique alcohol futures than bulk buying.

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“Three years from now, that $ 6,000 barrel could be worth $18,000,” Wilson added.

Of course, while the whisky’s worth could increase, so could the excise tax, which has to be paid upon bottling.

And when the time comes, buyers can have their whisky bottled and sent to them.


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