This article describes an independent bottler Cadenhead’s.

Overview and characteristics of Cadenhead’s

You can get a general overview by just reading through the headline titles below.

Scotland’s oldest whisky bottler

Cadenhead’s, an independent bottler, is the oldest whisky bottler in Scotland, founded in Aberdeen in 1842.

It is currently owned by J&A Mitchell, the owners of Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown. They also sell rum and gin, but they specialize in single cask and small batch malt whiskey.

Non-chill filtered, non-coloured

Cadenhead’s philosophy is to bottle in its natural state, with no cooling filtration or colouring (non-chill filtered and non-coloured) and no additives of any kind, allowing the distillery’s true character to shine through.

Owns numerous casks

The company owns thousands of casks, selected from a wide range of matured casks, including age, type and distillery type.

With the belief that “what’s in the bottle is what counts”, Cadenhead produces mainly whisky, not business-driven. This means that bottling is not rushed or delayed to suit the business, but only when the whisky is deemed to be matured.

Cadenhead’s staff produce only small quantities of whiskey that they are satisfied with and want to make, pursuing a taste that is full of originality.

Close ties with Springbank and Glengyle

In addition to Cadenhead, J&A Mitchell also owns the Springbank and Glengyle distilleries. So these three are in the same company.

Although Cadenhead’s handles whiskies from all over Scotland, it has a particularly close relationship with the Springbank and Glengyle distilleries, which are also owned by J&A Mitchell. You may find more Springbank whisky bottled by Cadenhead’s than by other bottlers.

Good value for money (relatively cheap)

Compared to other bottlers, Cadenhead’s whisky is cheaper. This is due to Cadenhead’s commitment to keeping prices low. For example, they are priced as follows (in 2020).

  • Glenrothes 22 Year Old: £66.25
  • Glentofers 28 Year Old: £121

The prices are affordable even at higher maturity levels. As for cost performance, this leads us to the next topic of bottle design.

Subdued bottle design and label

グレンロセス22年(ケイデンヘッド スモールバッチカスクストレングス)ボトル正面
The bottle of Glenrothes 22 Year Old (Cadenhead’s Small Batch Cask Strength). The label is plain but you may like it.

Whisky bottles sometimes put a lot of effort into the design of the bottle, such as ‘designer-designed bottles’ or ‘using Baccarat’. Highland Park, for example, is cool.

Cadenhead, on the other hand, has a more subdued bottle design and label. Even if the type of whisky or age of the whisky changes, often the only thing that changes is the label. There are several different Cadenhead’s bottle designs, but all of them can be said to be sober and unassertive. However, they are not necessarily bad-looking, but rather martial and cool in their own way.

スペイサイド27年シングルカスク(ケイデンヘッド ゴールドラベル )ボトル正面
Speyside 27 Year Old Single Cask Bottle. This is the Gold Label series, characterized by its gold label. The label has only changed to gold, but it is very gorgeous and satisfies the desire to own it.

The important thing is that Cadenhead’s is trying to keep the price of the whiskey down by not putting much effort into the bottle design. After all, “it’s what’s in the bottle that counts.”

Cadenhead’s whisky series

Cadenahead’s “Authentic Collection” series
The photo shows Ardbeg 26 Year Old 1994 single cask
  • Original Collection: Standard series with water added to make the alcohol content 46%
  • Authentic Collection: Cask strength and single cask Cadenhead shop limited items
  • Single Cask Gold Label: A higher ranking position, featuring a single cask
  • Closed Distilleries: A range of cask strengths and single casks made from closed distilleries
  • Small Batch Cask Strength: A series of cask strengths vatted from 2-4 casks
  • World Whiskies: A range of whiskies including malts from around the world and Scottish grain whiskies
  • Cadenhead Creations: A range of blended whiskies created by staff
  • William Cadenhead Range: Whiskies made from malt from an unnamed distillery

Summary of Cadenhead”s characteristics

  • Non-chill filtered, non-coloured
  • Owns a large number of casks
  • Good value for money (cheap)
  • Subdued bottle design and labels (to keep costs down)
  • Strong links with Springbank and Glengyle
  • Scotland’s oldest independent bottler

Cadenhead is a highly likeable independent bottler with a high philosophy, but with whiskies that are accessible to users.

Link to bottlers’ guide

Explanation of What Whisky Bottlers (independent bottlers) are