Official vs. Independent Bottlings
When it comes to whisky, there are two mains types of bottles available on the market – Official Bottlings (OBs) and Independent Bottlings (IBs).
Official bottlings refer to whiskies that have been distilled, matured, bottled and released by the distillery themselves. These range from the bottles found on supermarket shelves to the many rarer and more expensive expressions available from the distillery shops or specialist boutiques around the world. These bottles will bear the brand colors, design and logo of the distillery.
Where Indies Begin…
Independent bottlings begin their story at the distillery as well, but they take a different path to your glass. These whiskies have been sourced from distilleries by independent companies to be sold under the independent bottlers own label. These whisky gurus take the time to build strong relationships with distilleries around the globe, gaining access to warehouses where they taste masses of different casks before deciding on the ones that are right for them.
Knocking Down Conventions
There are no real rules or guidelines when it comes to bottling their chosen spirit (outwith the more general Scottish Whisky Association regulations). Some like to buy matured whisky and bottle it at cask strength, while others opt to finish the whisky in a different cask. Some (the brave and very knowledgeable among them) may even purchase new make spirit and mature it themselves in the wood of their choice.
This freedom gives bottlers the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and talent through expressions that, while sporting a distillery’s name, can actually taste unique and have their own characteristics and flavour compounds when compared to the official bottlings released by the same distillery.
Pursuing Higher Standards
While distilleries are driven to maximize output and profits, Indies focus on making each bottle a unique experience. In many cases these artisans hold true to bottling single cask or cask strength releases, a tradition they are adament to keep alive as such releases become increasingly rare from the distilleries themselves.
As many of the purest expression Single cask expressions allow you This results in bottles that true art of whisky has taken a backseat to maximizing output and profits
Indies are often bottled from single casks, making their availability very limited. On the plus side, it makes them unique and valuable, with the best ones quickly becoming rare.
Join The Indie Movement. Start Your Collection.
Free yourself from the mainstream and join the indie whisky movement. It’s your chance to experience the passion of true innovators and craftsman who have made the pursuit of great whisky their lifes work. Start your Indie Whisky collection today.Shop Now