As we release our second independently bottled whisky, we thought we would delve into the world of ‘independent bottling’: have a look at what it is and what has inspired us to launch our second independently bottled whisky.
Independent bottling is the term used to describe when a cask (or casks) of whisky is bottled by or on behalf of ‘someone else’ (could be a business set up as an independent bottling business, another distillery or organisation) and to be sold under that ‘someone else’s’ brand/label. The label can reference the original distillery or not – it will depend on the basis that whisky was sold.
So what’s the point of independent bottling? We've looked into the origins of independent bottling, and if we're honest, we can't hand on heart pinpoint how the practice started, or who had the idea to bottle whisky made at another distillery under a different label. It almost seems counter intuitive - but what we've learned from looking at other independent bottlings is that however it started, the practice of independent bottling offers possibilities, both for the distillery that has made the original whisky, and for the independent bottlers themselves.
For the original distillery, it seems that independent bottling is an opportunity to sell casks of liquid that don't offer enough volume for them to launch as a new line. It may be a ‘one off’ which the distillery considers suitable for bottling by someone else rather than including the liquid in one of its own bottlings. And why would someone become an ‘independent bottler’? Well, there are many more people who hanker after owning a whisky brand and selling whisky than can afford the cost and time of setting up and running a distillery. Independent bottling gives those opportunity to others to access the whisky market.
For us at In the Welsh Wind, independent bottling gives us an opportunity to demonstrate what we’re about while our own single malt Welsh whisky matures in casks. Inspired by Swedish distillery, Mackmyra – a distillery producing whisky in the New World Whisky category, this is our second independent bottling. Our first Mackmyra: An 8 yr old single malt which we finished here in a Banyuls red wine cask - sold out at the end of last year. Not only did the project give us the opportunity to work with Mackmyra, a distillery we’ve long admired for their innovative approach to whisky, but to showcase the impact of a careful cask choice for finishing an already stunning whisky.
Our second independent bottling also uses a Mackmyra - but this time, we have done nothing to the liquid but bottle and label it. Gruvguld (gold from the mines) showcases the magic of small casks. With over 50% of the liquid aged in 30 litre casks, the rest in 100/125 litre casks, it’s an opportunity for us to precede our own small cask whisky releases with an example of what small casks can do. Gruvguld is no longer available from Mackmyra directly - we are one of a limited number of stockists able to sell this beautiful whisky.
We’ll continue to bring you independent bottlings while the release date for our own whisky (2025 – it won’t be long!) creeps closer.
Find out more about Gruvguld – and buy your bottle – here!