The importance of a whisky re-guage

A re-gauge is an essential health check for your whisky and should be done at the time you purchase your cask then every 3 years until your cask is 15 years old. Thereafter, we recommend this should be done annually. It determines the bulk litres (the amount of liquid in the cask) and the ABV (alcohol by volume) to give the RLA (re gauged litres of alcohol). Warehouses charge in the region of £60 per cask for this service.

A re gauge is important because the amount of spirit in your cask and the strength of the spirit in your cask will both reduce with age.

The Process

  • A sample is drawn and is tested to determine the alcoholic strength
  • The cask with its contents is weighed, and the weight recorded. Then the cask is emptied, and the empty weight is recorded. Subtracting the weight of the empty cask from the weight of the full casks gives the volume of liquid in the cask - the bulk litres
  • Finally, the bulk litres and ABV are used to calculate the RLA. For example, if you had 400 bulk litres and an ABV of 60% then your RLA is 240 litres. (RLA=Bulk Litres*ABV/ 100)

Why do I need a re gauge?

A re gauge is important because the volume of your cask and the alcoholic strength of your cask will both decrease over time due to natural evaporation and alcohol is more readily evaporated than water so the ABV will also decrease. A regular re gauge can ensure your whisky does not drop below the required ABV of 40%, safeguarding when you sell you cask or bottle your whisky at an appropriate time.

Also, when you come to sell your whisky cask, a buyer will want to see a copy of the re-gauge certificate from the warehouse showing all the details to determine the value of the cask.