The Importance of Independent Bottlings of Scotch Whisky
There is no simple answer to this question and definitely too much to answer in one blog post, but it is a subject that is very close to our hearts here at Cask 88. As we proudly claim to be the home of rare and old whisky, if we didn’t embrace independent bottling we would not be living up to our core values. Our purpose is to offer exceptional whisky that is either rare or old, Independent bottling is very often both, to our customers.
So why are Independent bottlings important?
They are innovative – they let new companies enter a market historically dominated by distilleries that make the whisky
Distilleries are constantly producing whisky for their own bottlings or for the blending market; the casks that fall between these needs have to be used or lost. A distillery may reject a cask for one of its own releases, as it may not match their preferred flavour profile, but may be a fantastic whisky in its own right. Without independent bottlers willing to buy and bottle these casks, that whisky might never be enjoyed.
They are usually small run or single cask, which are by their very nature rare and unique
Whisky from a single cask is, by its very nature, a limited edition and therefore rare and collectable. We have investigated the benefits of a single cask whisky and you can find out more here.
Simply put, these releases give a collector the opportunity to truly investigate the true whisky of a particular distillery or region.
IB (Independent bottling) supports OB (Original Bottling)
Many question the need for IBs, preferring to stick with the brands and expressions they are familiar with, citing the huge variety of official bottlings on offer. This topic is hotly discussed and you can find a thorough investigation on the whiskystats website. Whichever side you are on, you can not deny that IBs are not restricted in the same way that OBs are. For example, independent releases have the freedom to experiment with different casks from a variety of different sources and various sizes, that the original distillery could never consider, creating expressions you would never find in an original bottling.
Cask 88 assists individuals, groups or organisations to create their very own unique whisky
In the last year we have:
- helped individuals to purchase a cask and create their very own branded whisky to share & celebrate with friends and relatives.
- arranged for groups of people to have joint ownership of a cask allowing individuals to overcome the cost and logistical barriers of owning their own whisky.
- worked with prestigious hotels, such as the Peninsula Excelsior Shanghai, to select, bottle and release their very own branded whisky.
- Developed our very own releases and offered them to our customers
If you want to know more then check out our pages dedicated cask ownership.
Create truly unique releases that reflect a passion or connection larger and broader than itself
Cask 88 not only help others to create their very own independent bottling, but we ourselves create truly unique releases that go far beyond what you can find on the typical supermarket shelf. We have just launched The Cask 88 Scottish Folklore Series, which will deliver six, unique, single cask expressions that offer a limited edition, creative take on Scottish whisky.
This ability for a whisky to stand for more than the distillery it was created at, and reflect something deeper or more involved than how it tastes, is one of the reasons Independent bottlings are so important. This particular series’ ambition, of connecting a whisky with its own sense of place and belonging, is something that few other products could achieve, a sentiment supported by someone who’s lifelong passion and career has been to achieve the same goal.
Art historian and Celtic Revival specialist Dr. Frances Fowle, worked with the Cask 88 team to help them understand and deliver the story of the Cù-Sìth, and its place in Scottish folklore.
‘It’s been a pleasure working with the Cask 88 team to bring Celtic myths to a wider audience. Local legends, rather like Scottish whisky, are part of our cultural identity,’ said Dr Frances Fowle. ‘Stories have been passed down from generation to generation, sometimes in poetry and song, and often accompanied by a drop of fine whisky. In the Hebrides, the more superstitious members of the community lived in fear of the Cù-Sìth.’
Want to create your very own IB?
The above are just a few of the many reasons why independent bottling is an essential part of the Scottish whisky industry and why we are committed to supporting them. If you would like to know more about how we could help you pursue your very own IB then contact us today, we would be happy to help.