What is an Independent?

What actually is an independent? Why are they so good?

What actually is an independent bottler?

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An independent bottler is a person or company that purchases a cask of whisky from a distillery or cask broker and bottles it themselves. They can add their own label design, whisky finish, strength and more. This gives independent bottlers the freedom to get creative and produce some really interesting whiskies.

How do you become an independent bottler?

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Wait... that sounds pretty simple. So, can I become an independent bottler?

Absoloutley! (Sort of)

To sell your own independent bottling you need several licences and you need to be a company.

Want to become an independent bottler or buy a cask? Contact us on info@damgoodcompany.com

Why do independent bottlers exist?

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It has been common practice in the whisky industry for distilleries to sell casks of whisky to generate extra revenue.

A cask may also be sold if the liquid is "uncharacteristic" from the brand. Distilleries may sell the whisky if it isn't consistent with their current stock. This doesn't always mean it's a bad cask. It might be very good!

Independent bottlers usually add the name of the distillery to their bottle. In some cases, the distillery is not named. This may be down to legal reasons from the distillery or the independent just doesn't want to name it.

Why do we find them more interesting than distillery bottlings?

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You may ask, "What is a distillery bottling?"

A distillery bottling is just a cask that has been bottled by the distillery themselves. Not sold on to cask brokers or individuals.

So why do we find independents so interesting?

We find indies so interesting because of the people who bottle them. Some people bottle whisky because they can't afford to open their own distillery. Some do it for a hobby (great hobby!). Some do it because they love whisky and others do it because they want to experiment with new things.

All these factors mean that independent whisky is varied, exciting and colourful. We're not saying the distillery bottlings aren't all of these things. But we see more and more people buying and bottling casks. And they do some pretty cool things! Just look at our shop and you'll so many different varients that the distillery would never produce.


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