It was about a year ago that I was walking around Covent Garden looking for the old Cadenhead shop. I discovered they had just moved (to 26 Chiltern Street in the West End). I found it and was welcomed with the warming sight of whisky.
WM Cadenhead is Scotland's oldest independent bottler (established in 1842). They've been doing this for long enough and have survived the ups and downs in scotch popularity that they don't chill-filter or add colorings. Independent bottlers buy casks from the distilleries and other sources. They have control how to finish and bottle the whisky. They often also buy stores from distilleries which have been mothballed which enables consumers to try an varied selection of whiskies. The bottles sold by independent bottlers (such as Cadenhead, but also Adelphi, Duncan Taylor, Gordon & McPhail, Signatory to name a few) will include pertinent information about the whisky: distillation date, bottling date, distillery, cask type, bottle number, number of bottles in release. Many are bottled at cask strength.
I could only buy a couple of small bottles, but fortunately the shop has a great selection various sized smaller bottles. After a long day working on the new site (www.findeatdrink.com) the other day, I thought a little sip of Ledaig would be ideal.
It's from their authentic collection and was distilled at the Ledaig distillery. Ledaig is the only whisky distillery on the island of Mull and is now Tobermory.
The whisky is 57.7% alcohol and is very light colored that belies the actual taste. Peaty, briny, sweet, caramel. Lovely.