What is an independent whisky bottler?

Independent whisky bottlers buy casks of whisky from distilleries and bottle them under their own label. While they don't distil the whisky, they do develop the flavour of the whisky. They do this by choosing how long to mature it for. And sometimes they use cask finishes to add additional layers of flavour. 

What do independent whiskey bottlers do?

Independent whisky bottlers look for the best whiskies. They're looking for whiskies that either showcase the very best of a particular distillery, or that are unique examples of bold, different flavours. They carefully taste a range of single casks, before choosing only those that meet their high standards.

They can then choose to either bottle their chosen casks straightaway under their own independent labels. Or, they can choose to further enhance the flavour of the whisky by ageing it in their warehouses for longer. They can also move the whisky to another cask (known as re-racking) to add an additional layer of flavour, for example sherry casks or port casks.

Indy bottlers often, but not always, bottle at higher alcohol strength, including natural cask strength. Generally speaking, they do not use chill filtration, or add caramel colouring, choosing instead to keep their whiskies natural. 

List of independent whisky bottlers making the best single cask malt scotch whiskies

Unique whiskies from indy brands

Here at TopWhiskies.com we love independent whisky bottlers (you can read about some of our favourites indies here). We find they're a great source of top quality single malt scotch whiskies at fair prices. There are plenty of unique offerings, single cask whiskies, and interesting maturation techniques. Plus, these independent brands are often run by small teams of passionate individuals. So, in buying their whiskies, you're supporting both them and their families.

We're proud to support some great independent bottlers. You can find the independent whisky bottlers we stock here. But there's a wide world of choice out there, so here's a directory list of independent bottlers.

List of independent whisky bottlers, in alphabetical order.

  1. Adelphi Selection
  2. AD Rattray
  3. Artful Dodger
  4. Berry Brothers & Rudd (BB&R)
  5. Blackadder
  6. Càrn Mòr
  7. Chapter 7 Whisky
  8. Chorlton Whisky
  9. Compass Box
  10. Douglas Laing
  11. Duncan Taylor
  12. DS Tayman
  13. Fable Whisky
  14. Gleann Morr Spirits
  15. Goldfinch Whisky Merchants
  16. Gordon & Macphail
  17. Great Drams
  18. Hart Brothers
  19. Hunter Laing
  20. Hidden Spirits
  21. Ian Macleod
  22. Imperial Tribute
  23. James Eadie
  24. James MacArthur
  25. JG Thomson
  26. Kilnsman's Dram
  27. Lady of The Glen
  28. Little Brown Dog Spirits
  29. Lombard Scotch Whisky
  30. MacKillop's Choice
  31. Malts of Scotland
  32. Murray McDavid
  33. Na Braithrean
  34. Oxhead
  35. Paloma
  36. Peg Whisky
  37. Rest and Be Thankful
  38. Roger's Whisky Company
  39. Samaroli
  40. Samuel Gulliver & Co
  41. Scotch & Tattoos
  42. Scott's Selection
  43. Secret Spirits
  44. Signatory
  45. Single Cask Nation
  46. Single Malt Whisky Society (SMWS)
  47. Single Note Whisky
  48. Skene Scotch Whisky
  49. Speciality Brands Ltd
  50. Spiritfilled
  51. Swell De Spirits
  52. That Boutique-y Whisky Company
  53. The Firkin Whisky Co
  54. The Single Cask
  55. The Whisky Baron
  56. The Whisky Cellar
  57. The Vintage Malt Whisky Company
  58. Uncharted Whisky Company 
  59. Valinch & Mallet
  60. Watt Whisky
  61. Waxhouse Whisky Co
  62. Wemyss Malts
  63. Whisky Art Journey
  64. Whisky Broker
  65. Whisky Is The Limit
  66. William Cadenhead's
  67. Wilson and Morgan
  68. Woodrow's of Edinburgh

How to bottle your own whisky or whiskey and become an independent bottler

How to bottle your own whiskies?

Many whisky lovers dream of producing their own whisky. The most realistic way of achieving this dream is to become an independent bottler. While there are still costs involved, and many things to get right, becoming an indie bottler is easier than building your own distillery. If you'd like to find out more, read our guide to making your own whisky here, which looks at five points to consider:

  1. Why do you want to make your own whisky?
  2. How many bottles do you want?
  3. What type of base spirit do you want to use?
  4. What type of cask do you want your whisky matured in, and where will you store it?
  5. Things to think about when bottling your whisky

Get in touch

If you'd like to add an independent whisky bottler to the list (last updated November 2022), or if you yourself are an independent bottler and you're interested in learning more about what we do here at TopWhiskies, do get in touch, you can email Ed here: ed@topwhiskies.com.