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Exploring Independent Bottlers

As I peruse my ideas for a first blog post, I think about what our values are and the answer is easy… 

I sit down to a single cask single malt, number 71 of 300, it has an original label and I can trace back the story of the distillery to the year it was distilled and the types of cask used. I can muse over the world at the time the spirit came into being and savour the rich flavours that cleverer people than myself took care to provide. 

I am not sipping a 50 year Macallan. I have paid less than £100, I have an independent bottling. 

An independent bottling company purchases a cask of whisky from a distillery, nurtures and cares for it, then honours it with a bottling of limited release. This usually takes form both non chill-filtered and non-coloured because why would they?

They are not a conglomerate, or a non-state actor, they are a small-ish business with a skeleton crew and a passion and as they are brave disruptors of the status quo, they don’t charge a fortune, as they actually need to build a brand and make a tidy profit. 

I don’t need to explain to clever readers the benefits of supporting small business, and protecting our country's biggest export. 

But what of distilleries history, we like to feel a part of it when we buy direct, I hear you cry! Independent Bottlers can be just as old, just as established, try the story of Finn Thomson, a whisky legacy going back 9 generations to before the founding of the United States, forming brands such as Old Grandtully and the famous ceramic Beneagles. There’s also the majestic Adelphi Distillery dating back to 1826, one of the most respected names of whisky who are now the owners of the ground-shaking Ardnamurchan Distillery here in the West Highlands.

Beyond the established names and familiar labels lies a vibrant world of whiskies waiting to be explored. These hidden gems, bottled by independent bottlers, offer a unique perspective on the centuries-old craft, often at an exceptional value. Each bottle holds a story waiting to be discovered, a journey from cask to glass guided by passion and expertise.

So, the next time you're browsing whisky shelves, be bold - venture beyond the familiar brands and explore the world of independent bottlings. You might just discover your new favourite dram, one rich with flavour, history, and the heart of a small, dedicated team. Remember, sometimes, the greatest treasures are found off the beaten path. Cheers!

You can find independent bottlings at all good whisky vendors such as Whisky Fix here in Oban, Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh and many more. 

What are your favourite independent bottlings? Comment below. 

Slainte Mhath


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