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List of Independent Whisky Bottlers

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 cask whiskies, 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

List of independent bottlers, in alphabetical order.

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

Last updated August 2023

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

What to look for when choosing a whisky from an independent bottler?

There truly is so much choice within the world of independent whisky, it's one of the things I love most about this category. Here are a few things you can enjoy looking out for.

Look out for new distilleries

Independent bottlers can be a great way to explore new distilleries. Indeed, in some cases, the only way to try a particular distillery may be through an independent bottler. For example, if the majority of a distillery's whisky is used for blending, you may only come across single malt expressions via an indie bottler. Or, where a distillery has since closed and is no longer releasing whisky under its own brand.

Experience new angles on familiar distilleries

Independent bottlers can also offer the opportunity to see a new side of familiar distilleries. In many cases, distilleries have a key style, or signature style, that they want to be known for. They will occasionally have casks that, while they may be of great quality, don't necessarily fit with that house style. The distillery may be reluctant to bottle such casks under their own label - instead, selling them to independent bottlers. I love casks like these, they're a fascinating way to experience a new side to old names.

Unique casks and finishes

Independent bottlers, generally speaking, do not distil their own whisky. They buy whisky from distilleries. Where an independent bottler can add value is through maturation. Unique cask sizes and types, interesting approaches to maturation and finishing - these are great benefits of independent bottlers.

Perhaps also worth briefly commenting on blending. While I might title blenders in their own right, clearly another way independent companies can develop flavour is through blending recipes. 

Bottling strength, ABV

Often, albeit not always, independent releases are offered at a higher ABV relative to normal market releases. This is a great opportunity to try a higher-proof version of your favourite whiskies. You may find new flavours and mouthfeels. And, where bottled at a high cask strength, you then have the opportunity to add water to create your own ideal strength.

Transparency and detail

Many independent bottlers will be as transparent about their releases as they possibly can. They'll provide a lot of data, often more than you'd get from typical own-brand distillery releases.

How have independent bottlers influenced the whisky industry?

There are many ways that independent bottlers have had an influence on the whisky industry and among them include:

They help to keep old and rare whiskies alive

Independent bottlers are often able to source stocks of whisky that may otherwise be lost, due to the closure or discontinuation of a distillery, meaning they can keep these rare expressions alive and available for purchase. This helps to ensure that these forgotten gems remain accessible to whisky lovers everywhere.

They provide access to unique and interesting bottlings

As independent bottlers are not tied to any particular distillery, they are free to select from the best whiskies that each region has to offer and create unique expressions that may otherwise be unavailable. This allows whisky drinkers to explore new styles and regions that they may not have had access to otherwise.

They offer value for money

Many independent bottlers are small, artisan outfits. They're not investing multi-millions in big-dollar marketing campaigns. Instead, the value is usually focused on the whisky itself. And generally speaking, you can get top-quality whiskies at an affordable price.

They give consumers more choice

With so many independent bottlers now in operation, whisky drinkers have access to an ever-increasing selection of whiskies from around the world. This means that they can choose from a vast array of styles and expressions.

They promote regional whisky production

By sourcing whisky from different regions, independent bottlers help to ensure that each area’s unique styles and expressions remain accessible. This promotes regional distilleries and gives them a platform on which to showcase their products, helping them to stay competitive in an increasingly global market.

They produce something unique, something special

Independent bottlers often produce smaller batch sizes. In many cases, single cask releases are limited to 200-300 bottles.

They help to preserve old recipes

Take for example Brig O' Perth, which recreated a Highland blend from 100 years ago. This helps to bring some of the oldest styles back into fashion.

They promote the appreciation of whisky

By making top-quality whiskies available at an affordable price, independent bottlers help to spread the appreciation of whisky amongst a wider audience and ensure that more people get to experience its complexities and delights. This helps to promote the whisky industry as a whole, which can only be a good thing.

As you can see, independent bottlers have had a huge impact on the whisky industry and continue to do so today. So why not explore some of their offerings and see what makes them so special? You won’t be disappointed!

Unique whiskies from the best independent bottlers

Here at 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.

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 August 2023), 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: