Angel's Share of a small cask

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Mike Ralston
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Angel's Share of a small cask

Postby Mike Ralston » Mon May 07, 2007 8:20 pm

Does anyone have any info regarding expected evaporation rates from small casks?

Seven and a half years ago I bought a small cask (first-fill sherry) from Springbank. The cask held 54 litres of new-make spirit.

I tested my first sample a couple of months ago, and as expected, the sherry had really taken hold of the spirit, which was now amber-red in hue - and delicious!

After analysing a dram or two with my local expert, Mark Davidson of Edinburgh Cadenheads, I decided to bottle the entire contents (at a cask strength of 51.7%ABV) immediately - any more sherry influence would have massively overpowered the malt.

I'm lucky I did; I was hoping to get about 65 70cl bottles, but the cask only delivered 52. This works out at c.37 litres of spirit - a big drop from the original contents.

This seems to equate to an angel's share of about 5% a year instead of the expected 2%.

I knew that such a small cask would give me faster aging of the spirit because of the increased contact with the wood. I had not expected the higher evaporation rate - perhaps I should have.

Has anyone else had any experience of this? Is this huge angel's share typical for small cask sizes?

regards and raised glasses to all...
Mike R.

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Postby peergynt323 » Mon May 07, 2007 8:40 pm

With a higher surface area to whisky ratio, you should theoretically expect faster ageing and a greater angel's share.

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Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon May 07, 2007 8:40 pm

Hi Mike ,
thats some loss over 7 1/2 years , yes they do loose more than the normal casks (surface area to Volume ratios i think) but my blood tub lost just under 5 litres from 32 litres in 4 1/2 years . I 'd calculated 41 bottles and got 39 bottles .


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Postby vitara7 » Mon May 07, 2007 10:44 pm

could have been worse, i know of a firkin or whatever its called that was 1960's jura and was sold to a japanese guy for a fair bit, it was like tar.....

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Postby kallaskander » Tue May 08, 2007 9:20 am

Hi there,

it depends on where the cask was stored. In a dry warm place a barrel loses more than in a damper and moister place, which is just logical I suppose.


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