Sunday, July 2, 2006

Special Scotch from Scotch Specialists

Orlando, FL

Scotch Specialists and Independent Bottlers, play an important role in the Scotch Whisky Industry, continuing a tradition in Scotland first recorded in the 1800’s. So you might ask, “What exactly is a Scotch Specialist?” Just as the name suggests, the Scotch Specialists offer a fantastic range of special Scotch whiskies by acquiring rare and unusual whisky casks from almost every Scotch distillery. These casks are matured by the Scotch Specialists in a variety of manners, and are bottled and presented under their own label denoting the producing distillery directly on the face of the bottle in accordance with Scottish Law. Even distilleries that are currently 'mothballed' or those that have been completely dismantled for years have Specialist offerings from stockpiled casks, thus keeping these brands from disappearing altogether. A few Scotch Specialists are also Independent Bottlers that own their own bottling facilities, ensuring greater control and quality.

Scotch Specialists purchase from distilleries and brokers limited editions of rare, premium single malt whiskies from specially hand selected casks to offer a limited edition bottling, typically yielding between 320 and 2,500 bottles. There is literally no comparison in terms of quality and character between the Scotch Specialists product and the standard single malts or blends from any Scotch distillery.

While the Scotch Specialists have been active for more than 200 years, their goods are relatively new to the United States market due to limited production availability, which makes these products difficult for distributors to administer and inventory. Enter Liquor Group, ( with its focus on quality products and exemplary service, unilaterally representing the top three Scotch Specialist companies:

Gordon & MacPhail (the largest and oldest at nearly 110 years old and an Independent Bottler as well), Signatory (Established in 1988 an aggressive Specialist and also an Independent Bottler) and Murray McDavid (the boutique Specialist). Liquor Group also has several other smaller Specialists in their portfolio. These Specialists provide multiple offerings from the top distillers in terms of vintage, finish and proof, including but certainly not limited to the following renowned distilleries: Macallan, Highland Park, Bowmore, Glenlivet, Ardmore, Auchentoshen, Caol lla, Edradour, Longmorn, Imperial, Isle of Jura, Rosebank, Mortloch, Pulteney, Strathmill, Tamdu, Benromach, Altmore, Glen Elgin, Clynelish, Bunnahabhain, Linlithgow, Caperdonich and Glen Scotia.

Consumers, enthusiasts and fine dining purveyors are always searching for the best rare, special whiskies to satisfy their thirst for quality and the unusual. Specialist Scotches are highly desirable to the real whisky connoisseur as an opportunity to sample a rare vintage offering or a different taste profile from their favorite distillery. Scotch Specialists are true innovators in the industry seeking the finest quality available and utilizing methods uncommon to the industry; Philip Morris of Decanter Magazine says "Gordon & MacPhail can be said to have been the pioneers in malt whisky, for they were bottling and selling malts (50 years) before the marketing of single malts was ever conceived."

Many specialist scotches are in their purest form, Cask Strength, which gives the connoisseur a real treat. Whiskies are normally bottled at 40% to 46% (80 to 92 proof) through the addition of water. Cask Strength refers to the whisky being bottled as it exists in the cask with no water added, and ranges from 100 to 120+ proof!

An increase in demand for more specialist whiskies has caused the desire for an extension of their product ranges to offer a variety of intriguing aspects. Often the Specialist chooses to ‘finish’ the Scotch by placing it into used sherry, port or bourbon casks for several months prior to bottling to enhance the flavor and the complexity of the Scotch. They typically also offer ‘natural color’ wherein the Scotch is bottled without addition of caramel coloring. Other attractive Specialist processes may include omitting the chill filtering process aka: ‘Unchillfiltering’ to maintain the true profile and taste characteristics of the Scotch. Modern methods used by most if not all distilleries for single malts and blends include the use of chill filtration devices that eliminate fatty oils and tannins that accumulate in the casks, which in turn polishes the spirits, eliminating the naturally occurring cloudiness and thus some of the flavor is lost as well.

It is exciting that a broad range of Scotch Specialist offerings are now available in several US markets through Liquor Group which offers over 80% of the Scotch Specialist products available in many major markets. Scotch Specialists/Independent Bottlers offer a vital service to discerning whisky connoisseurs the world over and can now be experienced and enjoyed through the efforts of the Liquor Group, whose Sales Representatives are thoroughly trained in the outstanding products they represent and are ready to educate retailers and restaurateurs about the mysteries of the Scotch Specialists.

Contact Liquor Group today to taste and learn about the best of the Scotch world: The offerings of the Scotch Specialists/Independent Bottlers!

For more information visit
or call 904-565-2633