Re: Independent bottlings
I love IB's and at least 60% of my collection is from independent bottlers. I wholeheartedly agree with Leither about Cadenheads and I always stop in their shop in Edinburgh whenever I'm there for a bottle or two. Other favorite IB's are from Douglas Laing (OMC and Platinum Selection), Scott's Selection and Signatory. I have come across some IB stinkers, one that comes to mind was a Glenrothes 17yo OMC, but many others have been absolutely brilliant, like a Caol Ila 17yo sherrycask finished OMC and a Port Ellen 18yo '83 Scott's Selection.
Here in the US the only way to taste some single malts (Ben Nevis, Glen Elgin, Glen Grant, Mortlach, etc) is to buy IB's since the OB's from these distilleries just aren't shipped here.