Whisky Magazine Issue 106
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Neil Ridley meets the independent bottlers dedicated to bringing consumers something a little different.
Whichever way you look at it, we owe the indies a huge debt of gratitude. Not only have they bought us diversity and innovation, particularly over the last decade, but trace back their heritage in a ‘Who Do You Think You Are' style and the whisky business starts to look a whole lot different to how you first imagined it.
Indie bottlers are, by their very nature, fiercely independent and considerably proud of their achievements in an industry now seemingly run on share prices and balance sheets. So get a handful of some of the most well known indies in the same room and sparks are bound to fly… aren't they? I ask the questions…they provide the answers…and the drams.
NR: We're all aware of the whisky business being in rude health at the moment, but what's the vibe from the indie bottler's side of the fence and what challenges have presented themselves to date?
AB: ‘When I joined Adelphi eight years ago a lot of advice coming our way at the time was to buy as much stuff as we could, as it wouldn't be available forever. Our approach was to continue to buy just what we liked and of course sooner or later it became harder to find casks. But fortunately we built up good friendships in that time and have been able to get good quality casks, as we always have done. The industry is booming, which does mean that there's less matured stock around, but there are definitely ways and means to get casks.'
ES: ‘The business is doing great, but the problem for the distillers is...