Independent whisky bottlers in Edinburgh can be small, family-owned businesses, or larger, established brands.
What is an independent whisky bottler?
Edinburgh’s independent whisky bottlers look for the best whiskies, ones that showcase the best of a particular distillery, and bottle it under their own label.
Although ‘Indy’ bottlers don’t distill the product, they can develop the flavour in a number of ways.
They might age it in their own warehouses for longer and move the whisky to different casks that have been aged differently, Port and sherry casks are often used.
The process results in new flavours and aromas that are different from the distillery’s regular ranges.
Indy bottlers often, but not always, bottle at higher alcohol strength, including natural cask strength. Generally, they do not use chill filtration, or add colouring.
They then bottle the whisky under their own label and market it to consumers as a unique and exclusive product.
Benefits of Independent whisky bottling
One of the benefits of independent bottlings is that they can offer consumers a chance to try unique and rare expressions of whisky that may not be available from the distillery’s regular releases.
Overall, independent bottlers of whisky in Edinburgh and beyond offer consumers an opportunity to explore the diversity of Scotland’s whisky regions and to taste unique expressions of whisky.
Here are a few of the top independent whisky bottlers in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is home to several independent whisky bottlers that concentrate on sourcing and bottling unique and rare whiskies from Scotland and beyond.
While some of the companies listed below have retail outlets in Edinburgh, others that may have an Edinburgh business address sell their product online or through a network of selected retailers, many of them in Edinburgh.
As well as selling their own independent bottlings they will also stock a range of products from other independent whisky bottlers in Scotland.
I good place to start your search for those elusive rare and unique whiskies are the retailers on the Truly Edinburgh Best Whisky shops in Edinburgh page.
Cadenhead’s Whisky shop
Cadenhead’s is one of the oldest independent whisky bottlers in Scotland, having been in business since 1842.
They have a shop on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where they offer a range of single malt and blended whiskies, as well as rums, gins, and other spirits. They are known for their expertise in whisky and their commitment to quality and authenticity.
Visit Cadenhead’s: 172 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BN
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a members-only organisation that specialises in bottling single cask, single malt whiskies.
They have a location on Queen Street in Edinburgh, where members can sample and purchase their exclusive bottlings. Their whiskies are known for their unique flavours and limited availability.
Royal Mile Whiskies
Royal Mile Whiskies is a whisky shop with several locations in Scotland, including one on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
They specialise in independent bottlings and have a large selection of single malt and blended whiskies from distilleries throughout Scotland. The company also offer tastings and events for whisky enthusiasts.
- Visit: Royal Mile Whiskies: 379 High Street, EH1 1PW
Douglas Laing & Co
Douglas Laing & Co. is an independent bottler that has been in business since 1948. They specialise in single malt and blended whiskies, as well as other spirits like gin and rum.
They have a site on Edinburgh’s Canongate where they offer tastings and sell their products.
Woodrow’s of Edinburgh
Woodrow’s of Edinburgh, has many strings to its bow. They are independent whisky bottlers, blenders, cask traders and owners of a bonded warehouse in Leith Edinburgh.
You’ll find their product in a number of Edinburgh whisky shops and bars.
- Visit Woodrow’s of Edinburgh website for more information.
Jeffrey Street Whisky and Tobacco
Jeffrey Street Whisky and Tobacco is an independent whisky bottler and retailer located in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The company sells a wide range of rare and often unique single malt whiskies, as well as a selection of cigars and other tobacco products.
Their collection of single malt whiskies includes bottles from many of Scotland’s most famous distilleries, as well as a variety of lesser-known producers.
They pride themselves on selecting only the best casks of whisky to bottle under their own label, which they offer exclusively in their Edinburgh shop.
- Visit: Jeffrey Street Whisky and Tobacco: 12-14 Jeffrey St Edinburgh EH1 1DT.
Robert Graham is another independent whisky bottler in Edinburgh. The business has several retail locations in the city, including one on the historic Royal Mile.
It sells a wide range of rare and often unique single malt whiskies, as well as other spirits and liqueurs.
One thing that sets Robert Graham apart from other whisky retailers is their focus on promoting lesser-known distilleries and independent bottlers.
They have their own range of bottlings under the label “The Exclusive Malts,” which includes single cask whiskies from distilleries throughout Scotland.
Robert Graham also has a strong online presence, making it easy for customers to order products from anywhere in the world.
Overall, Robert Graham is a great option for whisky enthusiasts who are looking for unique and rare bottlings, as well as those who want to explore the lesser-known distilleries of Scotland.
- Visit: Robert Graham 194 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AZ
Independent whisky bottlers based outside Edinburgh
Although whisky may be bottled by businesses in other parts of Scotland it’s likely that their products will be on sale in specialist Edinburgh retailers.
Douglas Laing & Co. is a well-known independent blender and bottler of Scotch whisky based in Glasgow,
The company was founded in 1948 by Fred Douglas Laing, and has remained a family-owned business ever since.
Douglas Laing is known for its range of blended and single cask whiskies, which are sourced from various distilleries across Scotland.
The company focuses on producing high-quality, unique bottlings that showcase the individual characteristics of each whisky.
They also offer a range of blended malts, including their popular Big Peat brand made from Islay whiskies.
In addition to their independent bottling business, Douglas Laing also owns and operates two distilleries: The Glasgow Distillery Company and the Kingsbarns Distillery.
The Glasgow Distillery Company produces a range of single malt and blended whiskies, while Kingsbarns is known for its Lowland single malt whisky.
Overall, Douglas Laing is a respected name in the whisky industry, known for their quality and passion for producing unique and interesting whiskies.
Visit the Douglas Laing website for more information.
Adelphi Selection is one of the best-known and most respected independent bottlers of single malt whisky based in Scotland.
The company was founded in 1993 by Charles and Julia MacLean, and is known for its selection of rare and aged single malt whiskies from distilleries throughout Scotland.
Adelphi’s approach to whisky bottling is based on a commitment to quality and individuality.
The company selects only the finest casks of single malt whisky from distilleries and bottles them at cask strength without any added colour or chill filtration.
This approach preserves the natural flavours and aromas of the whisky, and allows drinkers to experience the unique characteristics of each individual cask.
Adelphi is also known for its limited edition releases, which often feature rare and highly sought-after whiskies from distilleries that are no longer in operation.
These releases are highly collectable and can command premium prices on the secondary market.
In addition to its bottling operation, Adelphi owns the Ardnamurchan Distillery, which produces its own single malt whisky using traditional methods and locally sourced ingredients
You will find their whisky in a number of Edinburgh whisky shops and bars.
Visit the Adelphi Selection website for more information.
Signatory Vintage is an independent bottler of single malt whisky based in Scotland. They source casks of whisky from various distilleries, age them, and then bottle the whisky under their own label. Signatory Vintage is known for its high-quality releases, and they often release single cask bottlings that are highly sought after by whisky enthusiasts.
Visit Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Company Limited