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Independant Bottlers

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@casualtorture
casualtorture started a discussion

So being a relative newcomer to whisky, could someone enlighten me as to how independant bottlers such as Gordon and MacPhail work. Do they visit a distillery and find a cask they like then buy the whole cask and bottle it? How do they choose and how do they source? Me and a friend really enjoyed the few G&P samples we've had so I'm just curious how it works.

2 months ago

12 replies

@Victor
Victor replied

Yes, that's what they do. That is also what everyone else from private individuals to individual stores, to store chains, to drinking clubs do: they visit a distillery, taste some casks offered to them, then buy the cask/barrel and have the whole cask bottled for them. They then own all of the bottles and decide what to do with them, i.e. to whom to sell or give them.

2 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

I believe some of the bottlers, like G&M, buy newmake spirit and do their own maturing. I read somewhere that G&M had many casks maturing in their warehouses. I believe that they may even switch the spirit into better casks if necessary but have no hard evidence.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

...and the Independent Bottlers buy not only single casks for bottling, but also multiple casks which they themselves may vat together to establish a whisky product.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@NNWhisky
NNWhisky replied

If you like indie bottlings, check out That Boutiquey Whisky Company. They make some amazing juice at very reasonable prices

about one month ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden replied

Talk about a dream job!

about one month ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas replied

@NNWhisky , is their stuff really consistently great? I had the impression their releases were more of the "interesting & unusual odds and ends" variety, rather than "best quality we could find" variety. (I've never had one.)

about one month ago 0

nooch replied

My experience with independent bottlers has been consistently positive. I find they are often cheaper for aged whisky than the original distiller and the quality is great. Cadenhead. G & M. Good times.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas replied

@nooch I agree. Every IB I've had has been good, with the one exception of a wine barrel–aged Bowmore from Murray McDavid. (Yes, I should have known it would be bad based just on that info!)

about one month ago 0

@McTeague
McTeague replied

I find the independent bottlings are concistently more interesting than the official bottlings, but still fall along a spectrum: most are less quality than I had hoped for, some meet expectations, and very few exceed expectations. Still, if I could only have IBs or OBs, I'd choose IBs.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@NNWhisky
NNWhisky replied

@Ol_Jas Sorry, I thought I had replied to this long ago! Consistency is certainly not their aim, as is the case with many indie bottlers who only buy limited stocks. It can be a bit of a gamble if you buy a bottle without having tried the contents first. Festivals that sell what they show are the best places to try before you buy in my experience (I don't have an easily accessible specialist)

about one month ago 0

@GoodVintage
GoodVintage replied

a lot of the trade in casks is handled by whisky brokers and from what i know you have to be very well connected to get access to the best casks

about one month ago 0

Liked by:

@jeanluc@GoodVintage

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