Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Independent Bottlers Challenge 2015 Winners

Exceptional Bottlings - A remarkable year, as we announce the winners of our renowned competition

This is Whisky Magazine’s 11th Independent Bottlers Challenge, and it demonstrates the extremely important role that the independents play.

They offer consumers expressions from distilleries where ‘house’ bottlings are rare or non-existent, as well as single cask and limited edition releases at unusual ages and a range of strengths.

As whisky sales have soared in recent years, fewer distilleries have been inclined to part with their casks of precious spirit, however as this Challenge shows, the overall standard of bottlings from independents is extremely high.

These releases add greatly to the overall variety of the world of whisky, and significantly increase our drinking pleasure.

INDEPENDENT BOTTLER OF THE YEAR

INDEPENDENT BOTTLER
OF THE YEAR

WINNER

This independent bottler is based in Germany and has distributors worldwide. The company offers a range of highly exclusive whiskies from over 80 Scottish distilleries to the trade, whisky clubs and to individuals. Malts of Scotland provides a cask selection service with a tasting in the warehouse. If required, the team will produce individually labelled bottles complete with club, company or hotel logo.

Malts of Scotland

Judging Panel

  • judges ??

CAMPBELTOWN

13 – 20 YEARS OLD

SILVER

SMWS 93.66 Take two 58.4%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Vanilla ice cream with lemon curd dusted with cinnamon on the nose. Smooth and creamy palate with heather honey, green apple peel and butterscotch. Brandy snaps and candied lemon peel to finish.

BRONZE

SMWS 93.68 Clean as a whistle! 58.3%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

21 YEARS & OVER

GOLD

SMWS 93.65 Hickory smoked BBQ sauce 61.2%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

A warm mix of dark toffees, set honey and balsa wood on the nose. Creamy yet spicy on the palate with a woody finish. Coconut, tropical, toasted marshmallows, cream crackers, dusty, milky.

SILVER

SMWS 27.110 Horse harnesses and mescal ‘worms’ 52.6%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

HIGHLAND

NAS

GOLD

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Fettercairn Batch 2 52.4%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

White sugar kicks off the nose. Then comes boiled lemon sweets – fresh at first and then becoming stickier.

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Ben Nevis Batch 3 47.2%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

BRONZE

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Glenturret Batch 1 48%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

12 YEARS & UNDER

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Old Pulteney Sherry Hogshead 59.6%

Malts of Scotland

Vibrant oaky, nutty number with over cooked toffee, nutmeg, burnt orange and a hint of clove. The nose rushes onto the palate infused with fruit spice.

SILVER

SMWS 125.73 Cream horns 59.3%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

BRONZE

SMWS 26.116 Liquorice Catherine wheels 54%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

13 – 20 YEARS OLD

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Glengoyne Sherry Hogshead 54%

Malts of Scotland

Red apple skins in treacle, brown sugar and polished wood on the nose. Smooth, gentle palate becomes syrupy and juicy.

SILVER

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky The Octave Ben Nevis 51.3%

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky

BRONZE

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky The Octave Royal Brackla 53.7%

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky

21 YEARS & OVER

GOLD

Douglas Laing Old Particular Glenturret 45.4%

Douglas Laing

A nutty nose with a hint of dried orange, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and pencil shavings.

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Glenturret Batch 2 47.7%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

BRONZE

Wemyss Vintage Malts Nuts about pears! 46%

Wemyss Vintage Malts

ISLANDS (NON ISLAY)

NAS

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Images of Orkney 53.2%

Malts of Scotland

Soft hints of peaches and dried fruit on the nose. Then comes warm laundry. The taste is sweet peaches and cream.

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Tobermory Batch 3 48.1%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

BRONZE

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Highland Park Batch 2 46%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

12 YEARS & UNDER

GOLD

SMWS 42.24 The bee’s knees… 59.5%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Oily, spirity, pine, shell fish, salty, wet newspaper. Vanilla pods, Chinese lemon sauce and BBQ sauce. Dried, smoked fish, damp warehouses comes out after all the sweetness.

SILVER

SMWS 42.18 Purple relaxation 59.3%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

BRONZE

Cumbrae Supply Co Golden Cask Ledaig 61.3%

Cumbrae Supply Co

13 - 20 YEARS OLD

GOLD

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Arran Batch 5 54.6%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Orange juice with a light medicinal character hit first on the nose with light caramel notes popping in this fruity whisky.

SILVER

Malts of Scotland Highland Park Sherry Hogshead 55.8%

Malts of Scotland

BRONZE

SMWS 4.218 A little warmth 55.9%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

21 YEARS & OVER

SILVER

SMWS 31.31 A couple of classic icons 55.8%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Lemon sherbet comes first on the nose. A hot sandy beach and coconut oil. Sweet tropical cocktail on the palate. Very fierce and difficult to tame. The finish is sweet and spicy.

BRONZE

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Tobermory Batch 4 51.2%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

ISLAY

NO AGE STATEMENT

GOLD

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Islay #1 Batch 1 56.9%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Initially the nose is lemon fudge. Some smoke slowly emerges with ground white pepper. Slightly burnt caramel bars.

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Bunnahabhain Batch 2 45.3%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

BRONZE

Speciality Drinks Port Askaig 100 Proof 57.1%

Speciality Drinks

12 YEARS & UNDER

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Port Charlotte Leroy Red Wine Cask 57.2%

Malts of Scotland

Sweet treacle flapjacks start the nose followed by waxed candle smoke.

SILVER

SMWS 33.134 Peat roasted pig Hawaiian style 60.9%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

BRONZE

SMWS 33.143 Thank you and goodnight! 59.9%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

13 - 20 YEARS OLD

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Ardbeg Sherry Butt 54.8%

Malts of Scotland

Leather and raisins on the nose. Sweet. Then the smoke starts to develop.

SILVER

Malts of Scotland Bowmore Sherry Hogshead 55.2%

Malts of Scotland

BRONZE

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky The Octave Islay Blended Malt 52.3%

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky

21 YEARS & OVER

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Port Ellen Sherry Hogshead 56.8%

Malts of Scotland

Damp, earthy and rich – bags of plump raisins on the floor of a dunnage warehouse. Water reveals a balsamic richness.

SILVER

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky The Octave Bruichladdich 50.8%

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky

BRONZE

Wemyss Vintage Malts Briny Tangle 46%

Wemyss Vintage Malts

LOWLAND

12 YEARS & UNDER

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Auchentoshan Refill Sherry Hogshead 45.5%

Malts of Scotland

The nose transports you to a damp field full of cows and a modicum of manure. That’s ok, because sweet raspberry compote quickly follows and there is more to explore. The heaviness of the aroma is inviting, drawing you in, urging you to pull on your welly boots. This is a nose to savour! Worcester sauce crisps, and a good balance of wood.

13 - 20 YEARS OLD

GOLD

SMWS 5.49 Lady of the night 57.7%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Good depth with bright notes of cedar wood, stewed fruit, raisins and sultanas on the nose. A little marshy. Tropical fruits, eg. pineapple, emerge on the palate. Could this be the lowlands answer to um bongo juice? The finish is short, but luscious, this is lovely whisky!

SILVER

SMWS 5.50 Golden delicious 53.2%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

21 YEARS & OVER

GOLD

Vintage Malt The Cooper’s Choice Littlemill 49%

Vintage Malts

Lemon drizzle icing with apricots, oats, and a bowlful of sherry soaked grapes.

SILVER

SMWS 50.71 Alfresco brunch 58.2%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

SMWS 50.85 Conversations with my son 60.4%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

BRONZE

Malts of Scotland Littlemill Bourbon Barrel 50.2%

Malts of Scotland

SPEYSIDE

NO AGE STATEMENT

GOLD

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Mortlach Batch 1 52.5%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Meadowy nose, with a hint of icing sugar; delicious honeyed flapjacks on the palate, then strong spicy oak.

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Glenrothes Batch 1 47.9%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

BRONZE

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Glenlossie Batch 1 52%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

12 YEARS & UNDER

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Glen Elgin Marsala Wine Cask Finish 54.6%

Malts of Scotland

The nose has delicate hints of rum and raisin toffee. Hints of mint develop bringing to mind chocolate mint creams.

SILVER

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky The Octave Aultmore 53.3%

Duncan Taylor

BRONZE

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Glenrothes Batch 2 45.8%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

13 - 20 YEARS OLD

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Mortlach Port Cask Finish 56.4%

Malts of Scotland

A beautiful delicate nose of butterscotch, old English rose, cherry blossom, overripe kiwi and banana fritter.

SILVER

SMWS 35.140 Cornucopia of incredible creativity 55.5%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

BRONZE

Grindlay’s Selection Dailuaine 1996 57%

Grindlay’s

21 YEARS & OVER

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Longmorn Bourbon Hogshead 46.7%

Malts of Scotland

Meaty, treacly molasses and sherried.

SILVER

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky The Octave Glenlossie 50%

Duncan Taylor

Cumbrae Supply Co Golden Cask Dailuaine 58.7%

Cumbrae Supply Co

BRONZE

SMWS 35.142 Sweet treats and forbidden pleasures 56.2%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

GRAIN

NO AGE STATEMENT

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Loch Lomond Batch 2 47.8%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Glossy cherry lipstick, rich aged balsamic vinegar and a slight hint of mint. Anticipation builds. The palate is mouthwatering, like a luscious wet kiss. Finish is gentle and warming. Solid.

BRONZE

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Cambus Batch 1 45.1%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

12 YEARS & UNDER

SILVER

Malts of Scotland North British Sherry Hogshead 53.7%

Malts of Scotland

Savoury, reminiscent of sweet soy sauce, intermingled with biscuity notes on the nose.

21 YEARS & OVER

GOLD

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky The Octave North British 54.8%

Duncan Taylor

Lemongrass, marzipan and honey on the nose with a hint of violet. Caramelised sugars and lemon cheesecake on the palate. Crème brûlée on the finish.

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Carsebridge Batch 1 40.5%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

BRONZE

SMWS G3.9 Mellow and alluring 46.8%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

NON SCOTCH

NO AGE STATEMENT

SILVER

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Heaven Hill Batch 1 50%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

The nose is subtle and floral at first and then comes spice, tobacco leaves and shoe polish. Thick and oily. Tangy wood notes come through. Very chewy. The wood and polish continue in the finish and then settles to sweet cream.

12 YEARS & UNDER

GOLD

Malts of Scotland Paul John Bourbon Barrel 58.2%

Malts of Scotland

Iodine, Germaline, Bazooka Joe bubble gum. Very medicinal. Almost like an old bronchial mixture.

SILVER

SMWS 128.6 Rumbling, reverberating, resonances 59.9%

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

BRONZE

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Paul John Batch 2 54.7%

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

13- 20 YEARS OLD

GOLD

Celtic Whiskey Shop Cill Airne Cask Pedro Ximenez Cask 007 48%

Celtic Whiskey Shop

The nose is of gingerbread men with figs and raisins for eyes and buttons, and vanilla icing for shoes!

SILVER

Chapter 7 Irish Single Malt 57.1%

Chapter 7

BRONZE

Celtic Whiskey Shop Cill Airne Cask Oloroso Cask 006 46%

Celtic Whiskey Shop

21 YEARS & OVER

GOLD

Celtic Whiskey Shop Celtic Cask Cuig Deag 46%

Celtic Whiskey Shop

The nose has old leather, teak and cigar boxes. The nose is slick, slippery polish and rye bread. The finish is spicy and with a coffee bitterness.

Whisky gift and present finder