Whisky Broker October Update – One year on… – Scotch Whisky News


I know that the recipients of these letters are whisky enthusiasts, many with a part-time involvement in the whisky industry. Those of you who are only interested in the actual product, whisky, can ignore this letter, or skip straight to the product list at the bottom.

My first year of making a living by buying and selling whisky is just over and I’m getting my accounts prepared for the Inland Revenue. Accounts can be a bit boring and don’t reflect the daily frantic action that goes into making the profit (or loss) that they show. Whilst it’s re-assuring to have my accountant refer to profits this is automatically followed by the words “tax liability”. A quick glance at my accounts indicates that I’ve had a good year … good … except, where, I ask myself, is the money to pay the tax? Payment of tax will of course require some planning of cash flow to make it possible, since over the past twelve months I’ve had a habit of spending every spare penny to expand my range of stock. I’ve learned that trying to make profit is not just a mad dash of buying and selling but it has to be controlled. With different UK tax rates being applied to a sole trader and a limited company, I can see that good advice is important and it may well be beneficial to operate through a combination of both. Corporation tax is lower than personal tax and running the business as a limited company might allow me to build up stock in the early years as the business grows. Even when operating at a very small level, one begins to see why businesses are attracted to low tax countries.

I managed to get a scholarship to university and worked in my spare time. As a result I finished university with money remaining from my student loan, essentially a debt which will have to be repaid but which at the moment has the benefit of being interest free. Having access to that money was critical as it was probably the only source of funding available to me. In these days of uncertainty, a bank would have been an improbable source of start-up finance, especially for a young person buying whisky. A year ago I was unmarried, and could eat and sleep in my parents’ home at no expense to myself. Now Jane and I are happily married and we have discovered the simple things in life, like rent, local authority Council Tax (for which we seem to get very little) and the need to own a lawn mower and buy food.

If you’re interested, please read more on my website by clicking here or by typing http://www.whiskybroker.co.uk/fileuploads/octoberupdate.pdf  into your browser.


Martin Armstrong


Current Stock includes:

Age Distilled at: Dist. Date Cask Type No. Sold No. Unsold Price

0 Tomatin 03/11 Hogshead 1 4 £850

3 Benriach 10/04/08 Barrel 3 3 £900

5 Balmenach 02/08/06 Barrel 6 1 £1100

8 Auchroisk 18/09/2003 Hogshead 0 2 £1850

8 Mortlach 12/05/03 Hogshead 0 2 £1850

8 Glenburgie 13/05/03 Hogshead 0 2 £1850

14 Macduff 14/10/97 R/f Sherry Butt 0 1 Coming Soon

14 Clynelish 14/07/97 R/f Sherry Hhd 6 1 £2488

14 Bowmore 23/06/97 Barrel 2 3 £1990-£2300

14 Dalmore 29/10/96 Hogshead 2 3 £1857-£2258

15 Auchroisk 02/02/96 Hogshead 0 2 £2210

18 Glen Grant 13/10/93 Hogshead 1 2 £4200

20 Cragganmore 08/03/91 Hogshead 4 1 £2684

20 Bunnahabhain 1991 Hogshead 0 2

20 North British 22/01/91 Barrel 3 2 £650, £1600

20 Port Dundas 31/01/91 Hogshead 2 3 £2000

20 Islay Malt 24/12/90 60litre 15 6 £1500

22 Blair Athol June 1989 Hogshead 0 2 £3730-£3995

22 Bunnahabhain 1989 Hogshead 0 3

Bottled Stock: (http://www.whiskybroker.co.uk/acatalog/shophome.html  )

14yo Bowmore, 70cl, 55% £36

14yo Clynelish (refill sherry hhd matured), 70cl, 53.7% £32

20yo Cragganmore, 70cl, 53.4% £37

14yo Dalmore, 70cl, 55.5% £32

17yo Glen Grant, 70cl, 55% £40

20yo Islay Malt, 70cl, 53.4% £40.50

20yo North British Grain, 70cl, 55.1% £36

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