Here you can find some information on a few chosen independent bottlers (IB). Contrary to official bottlers (OB), they do not distill rum themselves. Instead they select casks that distilleries offer for sale. Typically, the rum makes it to Europe in steel tanks where brokers fill it into barrels. There are four main reasons why a distillery might want to do this:
- A given year or batch yielded a particularly high output and other customers do not buy the entire excess production.
- The distillery has a special relationship or agreements with an independent bottler.
- The rum in a given cask is too specific, breaks ranks and hence is not suitable for their own blends.
- It is an easy and quick source of income, albeit not the most profitable.
The most common reasons are three and four. Without them we would not have the continuous supply of new and distinguished rums. It is this abundance in variety that makes our hobby exciting and keeps it alive. Without the IBs we would have to drink the same polished, yet rather dull blends over and over again. Another crucial advantage of IBs is that they, contrary to many OBs, supply us with unadulterated rums (aside from potential dilution with water or special cask finishes of course). Sadly not all IBs adhere to this. The most prominent example is Plantation, who aim for the mass market by sweetening their rums. But also Rum Nation added sugar to some of their bottlings in the past.