Independent bottlers are arguably the most traditional bottlers of Scotch whisky. Harking back to the days when whisky was sold to grocers and merchants before distilleries bottled their own stocks, these companies were distinctly separate entities that acquired stocks of whisky in casks to then be bottled and sold on. Some of these independents have been bottling for decades like Adelphi, or for over a century such as Berry Bros & Rudd.
Each company will have its own bottling policies, whether bottling only single casks, small batches or their own blended whiskies. There are even some companies such as Gordon & Macphail who fill their own casks with new make spirit directly from the distillery meaning they can create a regularly bottled product.
The offerings from independent bottlers can be impressively varied and show a unique side to a distillery's product compared to an official release. There are also opportunities to try product from distilleries that have never been officially released.
Below are some of our favourite recent independent bottlings, ranging from easy drinking everyday drams to truly historic releases.
Independent Bottler Picks:
A mystery Islay single malt matured for 10 years in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, ex-sherry quarter casks along with some 'mystery' casks.
It has become a truly rare sight to see independently bottled Ardbegs nowadays. This bottling by Ian Macleod for their Chieftain's range has been sourced from two barrels and has been presented unchil ...
Convalmore was mostly reserved for blended whiskies during its lifetime, but luckily official and independent bottlings have shone a light on the distillery's style which is described as waxy and very ...
These intriguing releases from Old Perth are gathering a cult following. This 1994 vintage has been fully matured in a first fill sherry butt, and we felt it had a very 'old fashioned' feel about it, ...
A 30 year old single cask release from independent bottlers Murray McDavid. This blended whisky contains only three distilleries, all components were aged for at least 30 years with the youngest disti ...
A single re-charred hogshead bottled by James Eadie from Glenlossie distillery. A rarely seen single malt mostly preserved for Diageo's blended products, its elegant, oily character is influenced by t ...
A single cask of whisky from the demolished Imperial distillery in Speyside. This was distilled on 22nd August 1994 and was matured in a barrel for a quarter of a century before bottling in November 2 ...