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The Competition of Private Casks 

 The fad of private cask is booming in Taiwan. The demand is from everywhere… whisky associations, corporate, whisky retail shop, individual, etc. There are some private casks allowing customized label design which are extremely demanding which were even put out to tender. 

The tender works like this. The sole agent asks for a certain quantity of samples and then invites potential buyers in their VIP client list, who gather and taste the sample. 

The agent makes a public offer to all VIP buyers. When there is a conflict between buyers, it will be settled by lot. 

The sales model is not only convenient to the agent, but able to provoke further sales as well. In the viewpoint of buyers, it is also fair in the sense that no whisky is sold at a premium. 

Certainly, the process which intensive tasting prior making decision has triggered hot debate among whisky connoisseurs. It is natural that they concerned about the variation of quality. As the tasting samples are actually unfinished product in the cask, they have to take the risk of flavor variations. The risk become even higher if the tasting was conducted long before the whisky was bottled. 

The craze of private cask encourages innovation which in turn offers more choices to the public drinkers. To survive in the market, it is now the critical moment for the private cask buyers to seize the treasure in the knock-out competition. There will be elimination but it’s good for the consumers. In the keen competition, the private cask buyers tend to make choice regarding of the palate of drinkers rather than the label, the price or the story behind a brand. At the end of the day it is the content inside that counts for the quality and in turn drives the sales.