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Independent Bottlers Challenge 2007

What are the best independent bottlings out there? Our tasters tried more than 160 of them to find out. Here are the results…

Now in its third year, the Independent Bottlers’ challenge has fast established itself as one of the key events in the whisky year.

The challenge was created to show case the best this sector has to offer. The Independents are widely acknowledged as offering the whisky lover something different from their favourite distillery.

Due to the nature of independent bottlings they tend to come in very small batches often from a single cask, therefore offering something very special to the whisky connessiour.

Despite increasing pressure to find top quality casks, a lot of the propriatory whisky companies are no longer putting casks up for sale, the awards this year have had a phenomenal turn out.

Each company was allowed to enter one whisky for each category, and it was then assessed by three members of the judging panel.

The whiskies were tasted blind, the bottles were only marked with a category number and ABV, by our dedicated panel of judges, who sampled the 167 whiskies spanning the six main production areas and marked out of 10.

In each category a gold, silver and bronze medal has been awarded for the top scoring whiskies. In each section a point system was applied to the medal winners and the highest scoring was awarded the section trophy.

This year we have decided to honour the independent bottler who scores the most points across all the categories with an Icon of Whisky.

A broad spread of companies won medals, and there were five different trophy winners in the six categories, reflecting the diversity and quality offered by these companies.

ISLANDS (NON ISLAY)

THE SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY

12 years old and under
Gold - DunBheagan 8 years old Island - Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd
Silver - Arran 10 Years Old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Bronze - NC2 Isle of Arran - Duncan Taylor and Co

13-18 years old and under
Gold - Highland Park 1990 - Speciality Drinks Ltd
Silver - Old Malt Cask Scapa 16 Years Old - Douglas Laing and Co
Bronze - NC2 Highland Park - Duncan Taylor and Co

19 years plus
Gold - Private Cellar Highland Park 1985 - Speyside Distillers
Silver - Highland Park 20 Years Old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Bronze - Highland Park 1984 Cask 1731 - Duncan Taylor & Co

ISLAY

BERRY BROS & RUDD

12 years old and under
Gold - Caol Ila 10 Years Old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Silver - Bowmore 1996 - Berry Bros. & Rudd
Bronze - Caol Ila 96-07 Limited Edition - Wilson and Morgan

13-18 years old and under
Gold - Private Cellar Bruichladdich 1990 - Speyside Distillers
Silver - Caol Ila 1991 - Berry Bros.& Rudd
Bronze - Bowmore Queen of the Moorlands - The Wine Shop

19 years plus
Gold - Caol Ila 1984 - William Cadenhead Ltd
Silver - Caol Ila 1975 Cask Strength - Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co
Bronze - Private Collection Caol Ila 1969 - Gordon & MacPhail

LOWLANDS

DUNCAN TAYLOR & COMPANY

12 years old and under
Gold - DunBheagan 8 Years Old Lowland - Ian MacLeod Distillers Ltd
Silver - Battlehill Auchentoshan 6 Years Old - Duncan Taylor and Co
Bronze - Provenance Auchentoshan 10 Years Old - Douglas Laing and Co

13-18 years old and under
Gold - Rosebank 15 Years Old - Duncan Taylor and Co
Silver - Rosebank 1991 - Speciality Drinks Ltd
Bronze - Rosebank 1990 Cask Strength - Gordon & MacPhail
Bronze - Private Cellar Bladnoch 1993 - Speyside Distillers

19 years plus
Gold - Inverleven 1978 Cask 1873 - Duncan Taylor and Co
Silver - Glenkinchie 19 Years Old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Bronze - Ladyburn1975 (Rare Ayrshire) - Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co

MAINLAND (NON SPEYSIDE)

SPEYSIDE DISTILLERS

12 years old and under
Gold - NC2 Port Springbank 10 Years Old - Duncan Taylor and Co
Silver - Royal Lochnagar 1996 - Dewar Rattray Ltd
Bronze - North British Grain 1994 - Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co

13-18 years old and under
Gold - Scott’s Selection Glen Scotia 1992 - Speyside Distillers
Silver - Springbank 1993 - Speciality Drinks Ltd
Bronze - Glen Scotia 1992 - Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co

19 years plus
Gold - Scott’s Selection North of Scotland 1964 - Speyside Distillers
Silver - Private Cellar North of Scotland 1970 - Speyside Distillers
Bronze - Invergordon 1965 Cask 15517 - Duncan Taylor and Co

SPEYSIDE

THE SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY

12 years old and under
Gold - Glen Keith 12 Years Old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Silver - Benrinnes Sauterne 10 Years Old - Ian MacLeod Distillers Ltd
Bronze - Glen Grant 1995 - Dewar Rattray Ltd

13-18 years old and under
Gold - Glenrothes-Glenlivet 1990 - William Cadenhead’s
Silver - Scott’s Selection Aberlour 1990 - Speyside Distillers
Bronze - Old Malt Cask Longmorn - Douglas Laing & Co

19 years plus
Gold - Glenfarclas 36 Years Old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Silver - Caperdonich 1968 Cask 2917 - Duncan Taylor & Co
Bronze - Strathisla 25 Years Old - Gordon & MacPhail

HIGHLANDS

SIGNATORY VINTAGE SCOTCH WHISKY Co.

12 years old and under
Gold - Provenance Clynelish 10 Years Old - Douglas Laing and Co
Silver - Aberfeldy 1997 - Berry Bros.& Rudd
Silver - Glenmorangie 11 Years Old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society

13-18 years old and under
Gold - Dalmore 1990 Cask Strength - Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co
Silver - Tomatin 1989 - William Cadenhead Ltd
Bronze - Clynelish 92-07 Sherry Finish - Wilson and Morgan

19 years plus
Gold - Scott’s Selection Lochside 1964 - Speyside Distillers
Silver - Clynelish 1973 Cask Strength - Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co
Silver - Old Malt Cask Clynelish - Douglas Laing and Co

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