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Independent bottlers

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Official or independent bottler?

There are two kinds of independent bottlers: those whose primary concern is the maturation of casks bought from distilleries in their own warehouses, and those who just bottle the casks as bought at the order to develop customer loyalty, even if a great part of the whisky produced in Scotland disappears in blends (mix of single malt and grain whisky). The customer likes to find the same taste again next time he will buy the product.
The little world of whisky lovers, collectors and others single malt connoisseurs can have a slightly different approach. Real lovers are always looking for new sensations and tastes, and collectors are seeking unusual and rare bottlings. Collectors like to buy whisky from distilleries who are closed since a while and may be already destroyed, and lovers are looking for comparison elements between different versions of the same product.
One of the great differences between official and independent bottlings is that the independent bottlings are often issued from just one cask (single cask) - at least if we consider conscientious and capable bottlers - while the distilleries use to mix different casks, in order to standardize the spirit the sell.
The influence of the (finishing) cask is very important indeed. And the differences between two different casks can be very great. That is why distilleries always indicate clearly on the label if the bottle is issued from a single cask. (or single barrel)
The struggle between the independent bottlers and some of the distilleries who dislike this concurrence has often been a fierce battle. That is the reason why the name of the distillery appears in small characters on the bottle of independent bottlers, to avoid confusion in the mind of customers.
Most of the independent bottlers are also blenders. Ian McLeod for instance has a wide range of blends near his single malt selections.
A trend in the last years is that some independent bottlers buy distilleries. For instance, Signatory bought recently Edradour, Ian McLeod Glengoyne, while Benromach belongs to Gordon & MacPhail and Bruichladdich to Murray McDavid (in fact, Murray McDavid is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Bruichladdich Distillery Company Ltd, just like Cadenhead which belongs to the family Mitchell, owner of Springbank.
An independent bottler markets whiskies he did not produce himself. Independent bottlers are brokers who buy whisky at distilleries and sell it after bottling under their own label. The producing distillery is merely mentioned, but not always.
Before bottling the spirit, the bottler matures it in his own warehouses, in selected casks, or in the warehouse of the distillery itself.
The opinions of whisky lovers about the role of independent bottlers are quite different.
Some think they are just parasites who misrepresent the brand image of the distilleries, as others consider that they represent a substantial appreciation and are an essential link in the world of single malt.
Some would like them to disappear, and others only swear by them.
The truth is, like always, somewhere between these extreme positions.
If there are some excellent bottles sold by independent bottlers, there are also some horrible things who really can misrepresent the brand image of an industry if the buyer is not aware that the bottle he is buying is not an official distillery release.
On the other hand, some of these bottlings are so exceptional, that the buyer could have some illusions about the standard quality of a given distillery. It can happen that the official version is really deceiving when the first contact with a spirit from that distillery was an excellent cask specially selected by capable independent bottler....

List of the independant bottlers mentioned on the site

Anam Na H-Alba
Asta Morris
Berry Bros and Rudd
Bladnoch forum bottlings
Boogieman import
Càrn Mòr (The Scottish Liqueur Centre)
Clan des Grands Mals
Coepernicker Whiskyherbst
Cognacs Leopold Gourmel
Creative Whisky Company
Dewar Rattray
Douglas Laing
Dun Eideann
Duncan Taylor
English Merchant's choice
Gordon & MacPhail
Hart Brothers
Hedge & Buttler
Ian McLeod
Jack Wieber
James Mac Arthur
James McAllister
Jean Boyer
Jean Donnay
John McDougall
Krügers Schloss
La Maison du Whisky
La Part des Anges
Mac Y
Malt Pedigree
Malts of Scotland
Master of Malt
Meadowside (The Maltman)
Murray McDavid
Nadi Fiori (Franco di Lillo)
Natural Color
Norse Cask Selection
Old Bothwell Wine & Spirits
Royal Miles
Scotch Single Malt Circle
Scotch Single Malt Society
Scott's Selection
Scottish Liqueur Centre
Silver Seal
The Whisky Exchange
Taste Still
The Creative Whisky Company
The Nectar
The Ultimate Whisky Company
The Vintage Malt Whisky company
The Whisky Agency
The Whisky Fair
The Whiskyman
Villa Konthor
Whiskies of Scotland
Whisky & Rhum
Whisky and Cigars
Whisky et Rhum
Whisky Doris
Whisky Import Nederland
Whisky for you
William Peel
Wilson & Morgan
> Tuesday, 05-Feb-2019 14:34:47 CET
Fri 26 04 2019, 04:02 - 2 visiteurs au cours de la dernire heure et 2 visiteurs sur le site en ce moment.
Copyright :Jean-Marie Putz (2003-2017)

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