The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been named Independent Bottler of the Year in Whisky Magazine’s prestigious Independent Bottlers’ Challenge (IBC) competition

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The SMWS has concluded a wonderful year of recognition for its single cask, single malts by winning the title of Independent Bottler of the Year in Whisky Magazine’s Independent Bottlers’ Challenge competition. The Society also won the awards for Independent Bottler of the Year for Campbeltown, Speyside and Grain whiskies.

The IBC award demonstrates the extremely important role that independent bottlers play within the whisky industry, offering consumers expressions from distilleries where ‘house’ bottlings are rare or non-existent, as well as single cask and limited edition releases at unusual ages and a range of strengths.

The Independent Bottler of the Year award concludes an extremely successful year for the Society, with a suite of prizes in a range of international competitions, including The Luxury Masters awards, the IWSCInternational Spirits Challenge, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, and the Scotch Whisky Masters.

“This year has been one of the busiest and most successful in The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s history, and winning the overall title of Independent Bottler of the Year is fantastic recognition of the outstanding quality of the whisky we offer our members,” said Kai Ivalo, spirits director at the SMWS.

“We go to great lengths to source for our members the very best casks from a wide range of distilleries and offer a huge variety of bottlings in our monthly Outturns.

“Winning the overall title, as well as gaining recognition for the best bottlings in the individual Campbeltown, Speyside and Grain categories, is a great endorsement for what we do and demonstrates the consistent excellence of our single cask, single malts.”

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Here are all the bottles that helped the Society win the overall title of Independent Bottler of the Year 2017.


Winner, Independent Bottler of the Year

12 Years & Under: Silver medal winner

36.128 Moroccan afternoon tea


13-20 Years Old: Gold medal winner

35.174 The river of joy

Egg custard with a touch of gravelly minerality. Sharper orchard fruit notes build, along with a pince of candied lemon.


Silver medal winners: 9.110 Sense of sophistication, 9.116 Boozy fruit trifle


21 Years & Over: Gold medal winners

9.107 Intriguing adventures

Meaty notes mingle with freshly cut grass and tarragon cream.


35.177 Caramelised fruit and nut medley

Perfumed and pokey. Sultanas and sugared raisins with baked apples.


Silver medal winner: 39.135 Magical and heavenly



12 Years & Under: Silver medal winner

10.118 Enthralling pink and peat intensity



13 to 20 Years Old: Silver medal winner

5.58 Contrapuntal harmony


21 Years & Over: Bronze medal winner

50.92 Sipping sherry in the potting shed



12 Years & Under: Silver medal winners

134.1  Exotic rainforest fruits, 133.1 Speakeasy sneaky peeky



Winner, Independent Bottler of the Year


12 Years & Under: Gold medal winner

93.72 BBQ outside a sweetie factory

Big wonderful sweet nose then BBQ coals with honey-coated  chicken just caramelising. Salt and chilli chips with prawns.


Silver medal winner

93.76 Beurre blanc and blue steak


13-20 Years Old: Silver medal winner

93.73 Seaside chillies with syrup


21 Years & Over: Gold medal winner

93.78 Like a vintage dessert wine

Seriously gentle and delicately oily, almost sticky like sauturnes wine. Rich fruits, melon and mango. A little oak grip.



Winner, Independent Bottler of the Year


12 Years & Under: Gold medal winner

G15.1 Lead us to temptation

Perfectly pleasant, grassy vanilla notes dominate, with cracked black pepper.


13-20 Years Old: Silver medal winner

G9.3 Fruit, spice and all things nice


21 Years & Over: Silver medal winner

G1.15 Could pacify a mob