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OB's vs IB's

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OB's vs IB's

Poll ended at Wed May 20, 2009 8:46 am

I prefer OB's
6
24%
I prefer IB's
5
20%
I have no preference
14
56%
 
Total votes : 25

OB's vs IB's

Postby dramtastic » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:46 am

I am curious to know who on the forum has a preference for one or the other of the above or none at all. Also why that particular choice.
Currently I have a ratio of 75% OB's 25% IB's in stock.

I enjoy them both, but so far would probably choose OB's if I could only have one. I like the variety that the flavor profiles of I'B's bring to the table but like the consistancy(mostly) and focus of house style that OB's have.

Nine out of the top Ten whiskys I've tried so far would be OB's.
One point to mention, is that here in Australia there really isn't a variation in price between the two, so that isn't a factor in my choice.

I would also appreciate any recommedations for IB's that members really like, as I find buying them to be a bit of a crap shoot(maybe that's part of the fun) compared to buying OB's.

Cheers
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby borgom » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:58 am

I had to vote "I have no preference" because both have their strengths and weaknesses. OB's tend to be more consistent in flavour, are more widely available (in Oz) and are more typical of the distillery's style (well duh!). My favourite thing about IB's is being able to "explore" a whisky I like. With Laphroaig for example I've been able to try solely ex-bourbon matured and solely ex-sherry matured Laph's (non chill filtered and not coloured) ranging from 8 to 18 years of age - I just couldn't experience this sort of variety without IB's.
IB's are also great for providing an opportunity to taste the malts of distilleries that actually have no OB's, or cask strength bottlings where the distillery offers none. I've also found the IB's can be much cheaper than the OB's once you're in 18yr+ territory.

As for recommendations:
Hart Bros Caol Ila 10 46% Mar96/May06 ex-bourbon matured $71 - not complex but it's one of the smokiest whiskies i've tried but balanced enough to be dangerously drinkable.
Hart Bros Bowmore 10 46% Apr98/Jun08 ex-sherry matured $68 - this is the only Bowmore i've really enjoyed, for me it smashes the OB's to bits. It has some floral/violet flavours but also has some fantastic peaty/maratime/fishy flavours that just do not exist in any other whisky. It's a real love it or hate it malt but either way you'll never forget this one.
There are also a few OMC Laph 15's, a Hart Bros Lap 18 and a Hart Bros Ardbeg 17 floating around that are great but are all around the $130ish mark. Can you tell I like the peaty whiskies???
Anyway in terms of the IB's, is there any particular ones you've been eying?
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:37 pm

borgom wrote:I had to vote "I have no preference" because both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Likewise... And for many of those same reasons.

I certainly appreciate the 'better' resources (especially the greater number of casks) OB issues have to draw upon, even when it comes to limited edition releases. However, I might never have had the opportunity to try some truly excellent whiskies were it not for the independent bottlers. And a few of those independent releases just happen to count amongst the best I've ever tasted (Signatory's 1980 Caol Ila Cask Strength and Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask 1975 Ardbeg - the latter justifiably a 'legend' amongst single malt aficionados - spring to mind).

I'd merely add one more qualification to the phrase 'independent'. And that is the recent re-emergence of the thriving, independently owned and operated malt whisky distillery in Scotland. This is a very heartening occurrence, and one that can only benefit the single malt drinker by making a wider variety of tasty products more readily available, not to mention by keeping the larger corporations on their toes!
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby Jhelder » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:29 pm

It starting to get a corny but I had to vote "I have no preference" for all the same reasons mentioned above.

"IB's are also great for providing an opportunity to taste the malts of distilleries that actually have no OB's, or cask strength bottlings where the distillery offers none."

I addition to that, IB's provide the single malt explorer to taste single cask single malts at CS for an affordable price. It really gives one the opportunity to taste something really unique (most of the time no more then 350 bottles available).


I tasted and become to love the following IB's:
Springbank,10y, CS 51,5% bottled by; The Creative Whisky Company.
Laphroaig, 1992, CS 59,5% bottled by; Signatory Vintage.
Glenburgie, 1989, 43% bottled by; Signatory Vintage.
St Magdalene, 1975, 41,5% bottled by; Cadenhead (Cadenhead's Authentic Collection)

My inventory of open IBs:
Rosebank 1991, 43% bottled by; Signatory Vintage
Bowmore 1997, 56,7% bottled by; The Creative Whisky Company.
Glenburgie, 1989, 43% bottled by; Signatory Vintage.
Longmorn, 1989, 54,4% bottled by; Signatory Vintage.
Mosstowie, 1975, 48,5% bottled by; Duncan Taylor
MacDuff, 1968, 45,4% bottled by; Duncan Taylor

There are quite some OBs I love for the consistent taste and most of all their availability:

Port Ellen annual releases
Ardbeg (several editions)
Lagavulin 16y (and 21y even more)
Springbank (several editions)
Bladnoch 15y
Glenfarclas 21

and many more... :angel:


Slainte,

Jim Helder
Last edited by Jhelder on Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby ClubSmed » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:36 pm

I too have to voted "I have no preference" but what I mean is "Long may they both reign". I say this because the "I have no preference" option sound apathetic but I am very much of the opinion that they are both fantastic and it is very hard to decide which to go with on a case by case basis
Last edited by ClubSmed on Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby kyorke1 » Fri May 01, 2009 9:15 pm

I haven't voted. My experience with IBs is next to nothing. Something tells me to stay away from indies, I don't know why, all those I have tasted have been superb.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri May 01, 2009 9:32 pm

I have to say that it really is OB's in a strange sort of way.

I really enjoy my IB's but the constancy of OB's is a real factor.

The wonderful individulality of IB's I find is some times their demise (for me)

Some times they dissapoint and I can ignore that without recourse to the distillery but there is nothing worse for me than comming across that cracker and then realising that I will probably never get to experience it again :(

SO that is why I shade OB's over IB's but in all honesty I love it all 8)
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby blacksabb » Mon May 04, 2009 4:30 am

Oh man, this is truly embaressing. I read all the posts on this thread to try and work it out, so that I wouldn't have to ask this. But dang nab it, I'm going to have to. So here goes:

What is an "OB" and "IB?"


You may all freely laugh, bang the palm of your hand against your head, shake your head in disbelief, tut, mutter under your breath, mutter out aloud, swear, curse and roll your eyes.... :shock: :evil: :headbang: :x :roll: :o :( :oops:

Go on. You know you want to.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby jhershauer » Mon May 04, 2009 5:02 am

OB = Original Distillery Bottling
IB = Independent Bottling (like Signatory)

I wish I could respond to this poll, but I'm still trying to get a solid handle on a good range of OBs before I move onto IBs. I'm glad there's a whole world of options out there to explore, though.

Jeff

blacksabb wrote:Oh man, this is truly embaressing. I read all the posts on this thread to try and work it out, so that I wouldn't have to ask this. But dang nab it, I'm going to have to. So here goes:

What is an "OB" and "IB?"

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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby dramtastic » Mon May 04, 2009 7:10 am

blacksabb wrote:Oh man, this is truly embaressing. I read all the posts on this thread to try and work it out, so that I wouldn't have to ask this. But dang nab it, I'm going to have to. So here goes:

What is an "OB" and "IB?"


You may all freely laugh, bang the palm of your hand against your head, shake your head in disbelief, tut, mutter under your breath, mutter out aloud, swear, curse and roll your eyes.... :shock: :evil: :headbang: :x :roll: :o :( :oops:

Go on. You know you want to.




Actually sabb, I don't know anyone on this forum that would do that, we're all learning, lots of experience here, but no total experts.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby blacksabb » Mon May 04, 2009 11:31 am

Collector57 wrote:I'm afraid we're as guilty here as in business - we end up using abbreviations and assuming everyomne knows what they mean. But here are always newcomers who won't know.

Really, when we ask a question like tis, we ought to explain the abbreviation once at the start of the thread...



Hey that's okay. But I still need some clarification. So, with an OB, does this mean that the distillery that produced the whisky bottled it also? And with an IB, does this mean that a particular whisky label purchases whisky from another distiller and then bottles it under its own label?
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby blacksabb » Mon May 04, 2009 12:09 pm

Collector57 wrote:Essentially yes.
Most IBs are companies you know (Signatory, Douglas Laing, Duncan Taylor etc).


Actually to tell you the truth, I haven't heard of any of those. Maybe they don't have a big profile here in Australia or maybe it's just that I'm new to whiskies.


Collector57 wrote:You could, I suppose, class supermarkets as IBs. Mostly though, IBs bottle themselves or have it done by a third party, whereas OBs are generally bottled by the distillery owner (maybe in another location on a line they use for other distilleries they own, but still belonging to the distillery owner
)

As an aside, take the Oddbins bottlings of named distilleries - the HP 12yo 60.5% cask 1555 for example.
Now this was bottled by the distillery, in their own livery, for
oddbins, with Oddbins name on it. It's still an OB because the distillery bottled it in their livery, even though people referred to it as "the Oddbins HP"



Well that's interesting. So a company called "Oddbins" (odd name if you ask me, but that's another story) buys HP 12yrs, which HP bottles in their own premises which is 1) considered a OB and 2) labelled under "Oddbins".

So, let's say I wanted to set up a whisky company, oh let's call it "Wild Cat Nip" (snigger) and I buy some whisky from say Ballantines to produce a bottle of whisky called 'claws and paws' (yeah, guess what pets I have :roll: ). If the whisky is shipped away to the bottling factory at "Wild Cat Nip" and bottled there, it's an IB. If Ballantines bottle and label the "Wild Cat Nip - Claws and Paws" at their own premises, then it's an OB.

Correct?
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby borgom » Mon May 04, 2009 8:40 pm

blacksabb wrote:So, let's say I wanted to set up a whisky company, oh let's call it "Wild Cat Nip" (snigger) and I buy some whisky from say Ballantines to produce a bottle of whisky called 'claws and paws' (yeah, guess what pets I have :roll: ). If the whisky is shipped away to the bottling factory at "Wild Cat Nip" and bottled there, it's an IB. If Ballantines bottle and label the "Wild Cat Nip - Claws and Paws" at their own premises, then it's an OB.Correct?

Basically yes.
Although, the distillery does not need to actually bottle and label at their own premises, the process simply needs to be under their control and branding.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby Ganga » Mon May 04, 2009 8:53 pm

The idea is true although I am unsure of the example you use with Ballantines as they are a blender of whiskies. Does anyone know if Ballantines is affiliated with a particular distillery(ies)?

Besides the distillery, you could also purchase whisky from an independent bottler which would still be an IB not an OB. PLOWED has done a few casks from Douglas Laing (OMC).
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby dramtastic » Tue May 05, 2009 6:26 am

blacksabb wrote:
Collector57 wrote:Essentially yes.
Most IBs are companies you know (Signatory, Douglas Laing, Duncan Taylor etc).


Actually to tell you the truth, I haven't heard of any of those. Maybe they don't have a big profile here in Australia or maybe it's just that I'm new to whiskies.(/quote]


The reason you won't have heard of a lot of these is that they aren't sold in Australia. The exception from the examples Collector gave is Douglas Laing. You will see quite a few of these at any Dan Murpheys but usually under the Old Malt Cask name, Douglas Laing being on the label in smaller print. Others you may see are Hart Brothers, Berry Brothers Provenence, Gordon and Macphail and a few Cadenhead from vintage direct online.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby blacksabb » Tue May 05, 2009 7:12 am

dramtastic wrote:

The reason you won't have heard of a lot of these is that they aren't sold in Australia. The exception from the examples Collector gave is Douglas Laing. You will see quite a few of these at any Dan Murpheys but usually under the Old Malt Cask name, Douglas Laing being on the label in smaller print. Others you may see are Hart Brothers, Berry Brothers Provenence, Gordon and Macphail and a few Cadenhead from vintage direct online.



Ah yes, I have definately seen Hart Brothers and Provenance at Dan Murphy's. And I think Gordon too. I also distinctly remember seeing either the Hart Brothers or Provenance with a reference to Caol Ila distillery.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby dramtastic » Tue May 05, 2009 8:12 am

Actually blacksabb, in Australia, buying an IB is often the only way to get to try malts from some of the rarer, smaller or extict distillers such as, Ledaig, Bladnoch, Brora, Linkwood and Port Ellen.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby Jimmy321 » Tue May 05, 2009 12:13 pm

Both, the Scott's selection Ardbeg i recently finished is a great example of why you should not ignore IB's
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby blacksabb » Tue May 19, 2009 10:31 am

I see exactly what you mean now by IB's. At the Dan Murphy's where I usually buy from, I noticed a whole heap of "Hart Brothers" with a different distillery featured on each bottle. Distilleries that are not sold at the store. Such as Caol Ila, Glengoyne, Arran etc. Plus distilleries that are sold as OB's at the store, such as Laphroaig and Macallan. In fact, there is a Hart Brothers Macallan 15yrs whereas there is no actuall Macallan 15yrs sold at the store-but there is the 10, 12, 18 and 30yrs.

I'm really annoyed too because I noticed that the Dalmore 12yrs is no longer sold at this store. I was going to get this next (if nothing else for the bottle-I just love the look of it). But I did notice that there is a "Provenance" IB with the Dalmore distillery on it.

Personally, these IB's aren't the same for me. For eg, I miss out on the great looking bottle of the Dalmore 12yrs if I buy the Provenance Dalmore bottling.

To me, these IB's are very much like downloading or burning CD's. Personally, I love to buy the original album. It has the proper booklet and the proper label on the CD. It's just not the same burning a CD with a blank label and no booklet. When I go to listen to say some Led Zeppelin, it's not just the music-but the whole experience. You have the band's proper official artwork, label and notes.

To me, these IB's are the same. It's not the same for me to buy Dalmore whisky in another bottle called "Provenance" that doesn't have the great bottle/label design I love. It's just not the same thing for me. Also, I love all the different bottles and canisters of these fine malts. They make a really nice display on their own. The same cannot be said of having a bunch of bottles all the same except for the name of the distillery on the bottom.

At least when people burn and download music, they do it to save money. All these IB's at my store were no cheaper than the equivalent OB's. So what's the point? If I'm going to pay for eg, $99 for the Macallan 15yrs, then I want the original Macallan bottle and label. Not some bastardised version.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby upright » Tue May 19, 2009 1:05 pm

If you like it buy it, regardless of who bottled it. Support them all, it keeps the industry healthy, i hope.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue May 19, 2009 3:30 pm

jhershauer wrote:OB = Original Distillery Bottling
IB = Independent Bottling (like Signatory)

I wish I could respond to this poll, but I'm still trying to get a solid handle on a good range of OBs before I move onto IBs. I'm glad there's a whole world of options out there to explore, though.

Jeff

blacksabb wrote:Oh man, this is truly embaressing. I read all the posts on this thread to try and work it out, so that I wouldn't have to ask this. But dang nab it, I'm going to have to. So here goes:

What is an "OB" and "IB?"



Sorry to be an anorak(must be short for anal-orak!) but doesn't OB (or should I be kind and say, "COULD not OB"" also stand for "Official" Bottling?
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby sku » Tue May 19, 2009 6:51 pm

In the US, IBs are a necessity as there are many malts that we cannot get in OBs.

I have had many great IBs, as well as some not so great, but when I think about it, I can't think of any IB that I like better than the best OB I've had from the same distillery. Anyone have one of these?
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby The Third Dram » Tue May 19, 2009 7:52 pm

sku wrote:...I can't think of any IB that I like better than the best OB I've had from the same distillery. Anyone have one of these?

Not to repeat myself, but that sensational 1975 OMC 25YO Ardbeg immediately comes to mind.
A close call between it and the 1977 OB Ardbeg, but still a 'prize winner'.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby pkt77242 » Tue May 19, 2009 8:30 pm

sku wrote:In the US, IBs are a necessity as there are many malts that we cannot get in OBs.

I have had many great IBs, as well as some not so great, but when I think about it, I can't think of any IB that I like better than the best OB I've had from the same distillery. Anyone have one of these?


The peated Bunnas by Signatory are wonderful and in my opinion better than the standard Bunna.

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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby blacksabb » Wed May 20, 2009 8:35 am

Collector57 wrote:
Blacksabb - ruling out IBs because they're not "the original album" means you'll miss some superior whiskies. IBs are in a number of cases better than the standard OBs partly because they are usually single casks or limited numbers of casks, and more and more IBs are going UCF and CS.




Well I didn't know that. If IB's are CS, do they state that on the bottle, like the OB's?
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby borgom » Wed May 20, 2009 9:21 am

blacksabb wrote:Well I didn't know that. If IB's are CS, do they state that on the bottle, like the OB's?

Many will state the year distilled, year bottled, cask type, cask number, number of bottles produced and the alcohol strength/content.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby dramtastic » Wed May 20, 2009 9:29 am

blacksabb wrote:
Collector57 wrote:
Blacksabb - ruling out IBs because they're not "the original album" means you'll miss some superior whiskies. IBs are in a number of cases better than the standard OBs partly because they are usually single casks or limited numbers of casks, and more and more IBs are going UCF and CS.




Well I didn't know that. If IB's are CS, do they state that on the bottle, like the OB's?



Hey blacksabb,

You will have to look at what is available here in OZ not overseas. In the case of say, the Old Malt Cask or Hart Brothers(widely available here) not necessarily. You may however read on the label, bottled at our prefered strength of 50 %(Old Malt Cask), which may not be cask strength but is a higher ABV than original bottleings(OB's).

What the opportunity's independent bottleing's(IB's) bring to us here in Australia, is the opportunity try different tasting profiles and ages from the equivalent OB's, as well as OB's that aren't available here. You cannot buy a Bladnoch, Linkwood, Port Ellen, Clynelish and many other types of whisky in Australia that is not an IB.

So in agreeing with you about the poor packaging of most IB's, if you want to eventually expand your whisky knowledge, you will have to start buying IB's, that doesn't make it a second rate whisky experience. Many IB's are awesome.

Borgom, who is another Aussie member, may be able to enlighten you more, as he has a lot more experience than I do.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby dramtastic » Wed May 20, 2009 9:30 am

That's timing for you, borgom posted same time as I did!!
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby borgom » Wed May 20, 2009 9:42 am

Ha-ha, nearly did it twice too!
BTW thanks for the tip on the Port Ellen, VC added it to their website last week. Got a bottle and it's fantastic!

blacksabb, don't be afraid to try some IB's. On the whole I've had more disappointing OB's than IB's. Even a cheaper IB like Hart Brothers bottles at 46% ABV or higher without chill-filtration and caramel which can make a big difference.
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Re: OB's vs IB's

Postby blacksabb » Wed May 20, 2009 10:38 am

borgom wrote:Ha-ha, nearly did it twice too!
BTW thanks for the tip on the Port Ellen, VC added it to their website last week. Got a bottle and it's fantastic!

blacksabb, don't be afraid to try some IB's. On the whole I've had more disappointing OB's than IB's. Even a cheaper IB like Hart Brothers bottles at 46% ABV or higher without chill-filtration and caramel which can make a big difference.



Hey thanks everyone for the advice. Methinks I'll have to eventually pick up an IB. I'm just really annoyed that my local store has only recently not continued stocking the Dalmore 12yrs. I really loved that bottle!!!!
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