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An Independent Approach: Duncan Taylor

An Independent Approach

01.07.2020

Today we throw the spotlight on renowned independent bottlers of single malt and single grain whisky, Duncan Taylor.

Duncan Taylor Independent Scotch Whisky Bottlers

Today we throw the spotlight on renowned independent bottlers of single malt and single grain whisky, Duncan Taylor.

Today we throw the spotlight on renowned independent bottlers of single malt and single grain whisky, Duncan Taylor.

Duncan Taylor is one of the premier independent bottlers in Scotland renowned for the quality and range of its casks of rare single malt and single grain whiskies.

Originally founded in 1938 as a cask broker and trading company operating from Renfield Street in Glasgow, Duncan Taylor developed strong ties with distilleries all over Scotland. Over time these close relationships afforded the company to amass an incredible cask portfolio.

In the 1960s the company was bought by native New Yorker and whisky fanatic, Abe Rosenberg. Rosenberg made his fortune importing J&B Scotch to American shores just after World War II. J&B Rare Scotch whisky was a popular brand created by London wine merchants Justerini & Brooks, although the blend itself was developed by Andrew Usher. Rosenberg was responsible for targeting markets such as Las Vegas and J&B soon became a hit with party crowds and big entertainers such as The Rat Pack.

Blends were Rosenberg’s business, but the premium single malts that went into those blends were his passion. He began acquiring casks from the premium small-batch distilleries used in J&B blends, and to this day is recognised as one of the most dedicated whisky collectors. Once he bought Duncan Taylor in the 1960s, he began storing casks and expanding on his existing portfolio. It is said that he had a collection of 4,000 barrels by the time of his death in 1994.

Its modern history began in 2001 when a former Glendronach employee, Euan Shand, purchased the firm and moved it to Huntly in Aberdeenshire. He was said to be stunned by the quality and diversity of whisky stocks in their holdings, so it was an offer he just couldn’t refuse. Using the impressive cask portfolio that Rosenberg amassed over the 20th century, they moved their focus onto the marketing of their own brands. They are recognised to have ownership of one of the largest privately held collections of vintage and rare single malt and single grain whisky casks.

Today, Duncan Taylor are a global enterprise with an international presence in more than 60 countries and award-winning brands around the world. Their award winning portfolio includes their Octave range, a pioneering selection of whiskies uniquely matured in Octave casks (approximately 1/8th the size of a butt and yielding around 80 bottles). The Tantalus Collection is one of the most premium and collectible series from Duncan Taylor, containing exceptional single malt and single grain whiskies. This range includes matured whiskies of 40 years and above from some of Scotland’s most premium distilleries, and whiskies that come from some of the country’s most sought after, closed and rare distilleries. In addition to their innovative Octave and Tantalus ranges, key brands within their portfolio include the luxurious 'The Rarest' collection which include exceptionally rare single malt whiskies with impressive age statements, alongside popular brands Black Bull, Dimensions, Battlehill, Rare Auld Grain and many more.

In 2007, Shand announced his intentions to construct an entirely "green and organic" distillery producing Single Malt, Single Grain, Neutral Alcohol and Gin in Huntly.

Eilidh Jack

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