|Indie Bottler; Maltbarn. 9yrs Bruichladdich bottling|
Some Indie Bottlers select and bottle the whisky as it is, others age the whisky furthered in their own warehouses, and some double mature/cask finish selected casks in ex-sherry, port, wine or other alternative casks. But under the Scotch Whisky Regulations of 2009 the parliament put a pin in the non-Scottish located Indie bottlers possibility to do so, but more about this a bit later.
Other Indie Bottlers got their own master blender, who are marrying/blending different casks together to create their own preferred style of whisky, as we know it from Douglas Laing and their Remarkable Malt Series.
|Indie Bottler; Chapter 7. Peatside 2009. 6yrs.|
Some independent bottlers leave clues to the whiskies origins. Strongly indicating who the whisky is sourced from, without breaking their contract agreement. For example, The Maltman’s Hazelgrove. Not really that hard to guess, where that cask came from… nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more
|The infographics on Douglas Laing's Old Particular botteling|
If it wasn't for Indie Bottlers we wouldn't be able to taste whiskies like, for example, Strathmill that doesn't have any official bottles, and do not market any brands themselves, but only exist to "serve" blended whiskies. Another thrilling fact about the Indie Bottlers is, that some of the older Indie Bottlers like Signatory, Hart Brothers and finally the oldest Indie Bottler in the game; Gordon & McPhail, have stocked up on and are/have released several bottlings from closed distilleries like Little Mill, Brora and Port Ellen just to name a few.
|Indie Bottler; TBWC. 2yrs Rye From St. George & NYDC.|
As mentioned, under the Scotch Whisky Regulations of 2009, it became unlawful for Single Malt Scotch Whisky (only Single Malts – not blends) to be exported from Scotland other than in a bottle labelled for retail sale.
5.1 As it is illegal to mature Scotch Whisky outside Scotland, Regulation 7 also makes it illegal with immediate effect (as from 23 November 2009) to export any type of Scotch Whisky in an oak or other wooden cask. It is permitted to continue to export Scotch Whisky in bulk using inert containers such as appropriate plastic drums or steel containers.
5.2 However, Regulation 7 makes it illegal as from 23 November 2012 for Single Malt Scotch Whisky to be exported from Scotland other than in a bottle labelled for retail sale.
This regulation act put an end to the non-Scottish located Indie Bottlers opportunity to double mature, store casks and bottle Single Malt whisky in their own facilities outside Scotland.
Article & Photos by: Hasse Berg