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Whisky Independent Bottlers - Douglas Laing, Gordon & MacPhail, Ian Macleod, Signatory

Independent Bottlers


DDouglas Laing Old Particular Bowmore 25 Year OldThe world of Independent Bottlers can sometimes be confusing to those who are new to whisky. Most whisky, whether it is malt or blended is bottled by its producers in what is known as an original bottling, but this is not always the case.

An Independent Bottler does not have a distillery and does not produce whisky but they bottle whisky which they have sourced from the distilleries under their own brand name. Independent Bottlers tend not to concentrate on bottling whisky in bulk but tend to concentrate more on bottling single casks, usually with the whisky at a higher strength without chilfiltering or added colouring.

Independent Bottlers often focus on premium whiskies and off the beaten track whiskies, they offer some very unique single malt whiskies which have been bottled at different ages and strengths than the original distillery bottlings that are available.

With the huge rise in popularity of malt whisky in the last 20 years the number of independent bottlers has grown leading to an increase in competition between the independent bottlers. This rise in popularity has also caused the distillers to bottle more of their own single malts making it increasingly difficult for the independents to source as many good casks of whisky as they previously did. This has led some independents such as Ian Macleod Distillers to acquire their own distilleries such as Glengoyne and Edradour.

There are a few whisky distillers who object to independent bottlers using their distillery names on the independent bottlings, they believe that they have little control over the quality of whisky being bottled.

The major independent Bottlers such as Douglas Laing, Gordon & MacPhail, Ian Macleod and Signatory undoubtedly play a very important role in the supply of our favourite whiskies, offering diversity from the original distillery bottlings and sometimes bottlings from distilleries that have long since closed.
 

Independent Bottlers


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