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Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

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Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby shulaw05 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:16 pm

Has there ever been a post started about people's favorite independent bottlers? Going by company, i'd have to say my top is Ian Macleod. I'm a big fan of the Dun Bheagan bottles, and recently tried the Six Isles, which i think will become a staple in my liquor cabinet. Any thoughts?
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Ryguy » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:31 pm

Mine used to be Old Malt Cask, but based on my new membership to the SMWS, I have changed my mind. Not to say OMC is bad, I still highly recommend them, but SMWS bottlings are outstanding IMO.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:34 pm

Douglas Laing and Hart Bro's are probably my favourites, with Cadenhead, G&M & JWWW following.

Probably all in that order too.

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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby sku » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:07 pm

Does anyone know of a list of all the big Indie bottlers and their different lines and levels. If not, we should attempt one.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby woodhill » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:10 pm

Macleod seems to do some great stuff which is very under rated-not talked about!

talking of list does anyone know if there is a master list somewhere which lists EVERY single bottling of every distillery.

'cause that would be nice :insane:
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Ryguy » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:33 pm

woodhill wrote:Macleod seems to do some great stuff which is very under rated-not talked about!

talking of list does anyone know if there is a master list somewhere which lists EVERY single bottling of every distillery.

'cause that would be nice :insane:


Woodhill, I'm sure they don't have EVERY single bottling listed but you may find this site helpful. http://www.whiskyfun.com/
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Wave » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:01 pm

My top 3 are Signatory Vintage (Cask Strength & UCF Editions), Scott's Selection and Cadenhead.

Does anyone know of a list of all the big Indie bottlers and their different lines and levels. If not, we should attempt one


How about a list of links to all the indie bottlers?
http://www.buxrud.se/linklib.htm


Cheers!
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby corbuso » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:41 pm

As Mentioned by Collector57, it is a tough question!
In the past, It was Douglas with their OMC range, but now the prices have gone up and prices decreased. G&M is selling very good whisky, but I would like to see more Cask Strength version coming. JWWW is almost always excellent and for the time being, my favorite is The Bottlers, but it is getting difficult to find. Signatory should not be forgotten, but the prices of their best stuff is very high. In this regards, Duncan Taylor is even doing better. For these two companies, the quality/price ratio has severly decreased over the last 12 months. I buy here and then from SMWS. McLeod would be the last on my list.
In the middle, I would add Cadenhead, MacArthur, Murray McDavid and Scott's selection. I haven't tried enough Samaroli to judge it, like for Hart Brothers, The Whiskyfair,Dewar Rattray, Single Malts of Scotland or First Cask...


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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby laphroaig10_65 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:28 pm

I haven't a favourite independent bottler, but I wish to remember the fine quality/price ratio of Wilson & Morgan.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby r900p » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:18 pm

My favourite is a little known chap in Bothwell, not too far from Lanark. All are single cask bottlings, which i think may be a stupid comment as aren't all indy's scb's?!

His bottlings are always different, my Last from him was 1979 Port Ellens, i sold one on to someone on here becuase i saw another bottle i like. All bottles i've had gave been excellent, may favourite prob has to be a 1991 Laddie he had a few yeard ago.

What is also great about this guy is thats jis bottles are good value, he port ellen i got from him was also exclusively avaoilable through RMW for £94, i saved around £45 a bottle, because of this i now shop around the indy people, i find them far more interesting that sales assistants as most are collectors as well which started just becuase they wanted to bottle their won cask.

Incidently Old Bothwell wine and spirit mercgants also bottle casks for the public.

Rob
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Ganga » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:21 am

I don't know. I usually have pleasant experiences with Douglas Laing, Duncan Taylor, Signatory.... But each of these have had the occasional bottle that was not so good. I would like to include Murray McDavid but all the wine finishes don't impress me.

I've only had a couple of Whisky Fair and The Bottlers products, and they were good, but this is just not enough to make a decision on the overall quality of bottlings.

I have had some very good bottlings from Glenhaven too.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby BruceCrichton » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:27 pm

My favourite, if money is no object, is Adelphi.

If money is an object, Duncan Taylor are brilliant.

Douglas Laing and Speyside distillers are close behind.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Admiral » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:31 am

My vote definitely goes the SMWS, although I could be accused of being a little biased.

I've been impressed with the OMC range - they're pretty consistent. I've only had one McGibbons Provenance bottling, and that was a total dud. It was a Ledaig that had absolutely no flavour, and I couldn't for the life of me imagine why on earth someone at Douglas Laing thought it was worth bottling.

I've always enjoyed G&M, and I've never understood why others tend to pooh-pooh them, apart from the fact that their bottlings are usually at 40%.

Cheers,
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby parvus » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:55 am

I agree with others that, on the whole, Douglas Laing, Adelphi and Duncan Taylor seem to have a great deal of consistency with their bottlings. Signatory are a bit hit and miss for me, as are G&M, but I will agree with Admiral, i've had a couple of absolute stunners from them.

I think the Single Malts of Scotland range from TWE has huge potential - the 5 i've purchased so far have all been of an extremely high quality, and i'll certainly be getting more in the future.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Aidan » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:11 am

Have any of you tried many from the Single Malts of Scotland Range? They seem to be good value. I've only had one, but it was superb, so I bought another.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby mikeymad » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:32 am

If I was going to add a vote it would be in this order.

Duncan Taylor
Murray McDavid
Douglas Laing
Mckillop's Choice
Scott's

The rest.....

Cheers,
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Ryguy » Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:49 pm

ryguy wrote:Mine used to be Old Malt Cask, but based on my new membership to the SMWS, I have changed my mind. Not to say OMC is bad, I still highly recommend them, but SMWS bottlings are outstanding IMO.


OK why did I forget Blackadder here? And why didn't anyone else around here mention it? Are they not widely distributed? I really enjoyed the stuff I've tried from them including "Smoking Islay", "Peat Reek" and a couple others.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:48 pm

ryguy wrote:
ryguy wrote:Mine used to be Old Malt Cask, but based on my new membership to the SMWS, I have changed my mind. Not to say OMC is bad, I still highly recommend them, but SMWS bottlings are outstanding IMO.


OK why did I forget Blackadder here? And why didn't anyone else around here mention it? Are they not widely distributed? I really enjoyed the stuff I've tried from them including "Smoking Islay", "Peat Reek" and a couple others.


I met a bloke from Blackadder and he poured me a dram which wouldn't have filled my contact lens case. I was not pleased. :x
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby mikeymad » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:38 pm

BruceCrichton wrote:he poured me a dram which wouldn't have filled my contact lens case.


Was the beverage good....???

Did you ask for another thimble full???

I have liked their expressions so far. Sorry for your experience with their people.

Cheers,
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Ryguy » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:07 pm

BruceCrichton wrote:
I met a bloke from Blackadder and he poured me a dram which wouldn't have filled my contact lens case. I was not pleased. :x


I agree with mikeymad, it's one thing not to like the representative from Blackadder, but was the whisky itself any good? That's what I was getting at. I have had no experiences with any of the Rep's from Blackadder, I have only dealt with the distributors here in the U.S. And they all have been very helpful with generous samples, information etc. Sorry that your first experiece was a bad one.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:17 pm

mikeymad wrote:
BruceCrichton wrote:he poured me a dram which wouldn't have filled my contact lens case.


Was the beverage good....???

Did you ask for another thimble full???

I have liked their expressions so far. Sorry for your experience with their people.

Cheers,


There was so little there, I could barely taste it.

I coudn't wait to get away.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:28 pm

To me, Douglas Laing & Co. is a notch above the rest, although some others have improved in recent years. Consistent quality and real effort to keep high standards.

Cadenhead's has always been a mixture of pearls..and swines. There are fabulous bottlings, but also truly mediocre ones. Luckily there are more hits than misses.

Signatory has improved in last 5 years a lot I feel, they used to bottle anything that would go into a bottle once upon a time. The new Amphora-type bottles that I've tried have contained excellent whiskies.

Duncan Taylor is pretty consistent, but I have not tasted too many bottlings from them.

Milroy's of Soho has had some truly fabulous ones out, I really enjoyed their 17yo Caol Ila and their 12yo Springbank puts any OB of recent years to shame. No prizes in the last Indy-bottler challenge, but many in the previous one. The recently released 1976 Glenglassaugh is a fabulous stunner, shame though that Milroy's insists on not bottling at full cask strength (they used to do that once upon a time).

The worst nowadays must be Murray McDavid, with their absolutely ridiculous run of wood finishes that overpower all whisky and taste like anything but whisky!! And to think that they are now set on doing the same mutilation to rums, brrr...!!! Gents, in the old days you had some seriously GOOD whiskies, but is it that you are so set on playing with Bruichladdich that you decide to mutilate all other drinks?
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:15 pm

I tried a G&M Glenesk the other night and it was delicious. I will try more of their bottlings in the future.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby micheluzzo » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:47 pm

Samaroli till the mid 90ties
From the past: Intertrade, Moon and Sestante
Adelphi are often very good
SMWS and the german SMWC

maybe it is easier to decide which one is the worst independent bottler?

sanfte gruesse
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Dubois » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:04 pm

My experience with 3 independent bottlers:

Signatory's : excellent, the best of the 3 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Murray McDavid :very good :thumbsup:
Dewar Rattray : :?
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:02 pm

Dubois wrote:My experience with 3 independent bottlers:<Snip>
Dewar Rattray : :?


Might be different with Suzywong on the case. Dewar Rattray are appearing in Dufftown and I'll check them out then.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby woodhill » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:13 pm

Dubois wrote:My experience with 3 independent bottlers:<Snip>
Dewar Rattray : :?


I dunno?

I've had many Dewar Rattray Bottlings and always enjoyed them!

I've had:-
14yo Bowmore in Sherry Casks
16yo Aultmore
25yo Inchgower
37yo Strathclyde Grain
and a couple of others which I forget now!
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:43 pm

MacLeods is my personal favourite. I have not had one bad bottling from them yet ....

Cadensheads are always very good also so would run MacLeods close 8)

G&M have some great old bottlings but not well up with their more current bottling.

had some excellent Signatures but also a couple bad ones :(

Also had some Wilson & Morgan which was fine but nothing to write home about at the same time.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Lawrence » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:29 pm

Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Dewar Rattray, Douglas Laing, Signatory, have not had a Cadenheads in a while but they were always good and of course G&M.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:47 am

I've been lucky I guess, Signatory has been very good to me. Haven't found a "dud" bottle yet.

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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby parvus » Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:38 am

Care for a sample of a 1977 Glenugie then Musky? It'll show you what a dud Signatory smells/tastes like :sleep:
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:58 am

parvus wrote:Care for a sample of a 1977 Glenugie then Musky? It'll show you what a dud Signatory smells/tastes like :sleep:
If I can ever stealth under the radar to get to NZ it will be the first thing on my "to do" list. I've not had the opportunity to sample any Glenugie and would welcome the chance to widen my knowledge base, even if it has to include an inferior offering.

What is the problem with Signatory Glenugie? Is there a soapyness or a harshness to it that lowers the overall appreciation? How does it compare to an OB Glenugie?

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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby parvus » Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:30 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:
parvus wrote:Care for a sample of a 1977 Glenugie then Musky? It'll show you what a dud Signatory smells/tastes like :sleep:
If I can ever stealth under the radar to get to NZ it will be the first thing on my "to do" list. I've not had the opportunity to sample any Glenugie and would welcome the chance to widen my knowledge base, even if it has to include an inferior offering.


You'd be more than welcome here, and i'm sure I could dig up something worthwhile to consume.

What is the problem with Signatory Glenugie? Is there a soapyness or a harshness to it that lowers the overall appreciation? How does it compare to an OB Glenugie?


For a 29 year old ex-bourbon, especially Glenugie, you'd expect more from it - it's very bland and flat for its age, simple and it has a slightly chalky aspirin-esque note in it that is quite out of place, and a pear note that is far more common in much younger whisky.

Compared to the 4 or so other Glenugies i've had it is missing a lot of depth and the strong citrus (blood orange, mandarin) notes which I found so appealing. Bottom line is a tired old cask I guess, 'tis a shame.

Fling me a PM if you want to arrange a sample or two, Musky.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby The Whisky Lounge » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:54 pm

Anyone tried any Queen of the Moorlands bottlings? From small retailer in Leek, Staffordshire, they only bottle single casks aside from their own standard bottling.
Current Laphroaig 1998 and Mortlach 1991 are superb, with the Laphroaig full of vegetal, earthy, dirty peat and amazing youthful vigour. The Mortlach is simply to die for - rich, elegant, seared fruitcake. Both are cask strength and very reasonably priced - £47 and £56.
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Re: Best/Favorite Independent Bottler

Postby Knolly » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:27 pm

While I don't have a huge amount of experience with IBs, I will have to agree with a lot of people here and say that so far, Douglas Laing seem to really be on the ball. The OMC range (mainly what I've tried) has overall been excellent.

I have a few G&M Cask bottles also that have been very, very good if not exceptional.

Although I'm not a member of the SMWS, I have been to a couple of tastings from them at the Victoria Whisky Festival and have to say that they do bottle some really interesting whiskies.

MMD: totally agree that the wine finishes don't do it for me. I've been to at least 3 or 4 MMD tastings over the past year or so, and can't say that I've rushed out to buy bottles.

Still I don't have enough IBs to really form a hugely valuable opinion on the subject outside of what I've said here.
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