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New start-up aims to ‘democratise’ cask investment

Circumstance Distillery founder Liam Hirt has developed a new platform that allows consumers to purchase shares in casks of spirit.

Liam Hirt
Liam Hirt co-founded Still in Cask along with Zak Hirt, Danny Walker and Illy Jaffar

Still in Cask seeks to ‘democratise the ownership of cask spirits’ by using blockchain technology to sell shares in casks of ageing spirits directly from distilleries.

The platform goes live today (24 May), offering cask shares from the distilleries Nc’Nean, Cotswolds, Mackmyra and Connacht.

Each share is typically equivalent to 700ml of spirit in cask. Once the share is purchased, the transaction is recorded on a public blockchain. Then, after the spirit’s ageing is complete and the liquid has been bottled, the shareholder receives the spirit.

Cask investment for all

“Cask ownership is usually reserved for those that can afford an entire cask or those that can form a syndicate of like-minded individuals, meaning many enthusiasts are therefore excluded,” commented Hirt.

“Whisky and cask-aged spirits are continuing to enjoy global growth, from everyday drinking to collectables. The consumer profile is getting younger, and they are no longer perceived as a male preserve.”

With this in mind, Hirt, along with co-founders Illy Jaffar, Zak Hirt and Danny Walker, designed the platform to make cask ownership accessible to a wider audience and “democratise” such investments.

The team also hopes to open up different avenues for interaction between distilleries and consumers. According to Jaffar, “distilleries can engage with their customers in a completely new way” with Still in Cask.

“We want to create a community of whisky and cask-aged spirits fans where they discover and share innovative and progressive distilleries, a place where consumers can build a portfolio of cask shares from different quality producers and indeed categories,” Jaffar explained.

The platform is free on mobile and desktop, allowing consumers to purchase shares and receive updates on their casks. However, Still in Cask is also launching a club membership later this summer, providing priority access to new cask listings, as well as events and a newsletter, for £5 (US$7) a month.

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