The Hunter Laing tasting panel consists of Stewart, our Master Blender Tom Aitken, Scott and Andrew. Together they review samples of casks which have been kept aside and decide whether they do indeed exhibit qualities which justify a single cask bottling, and if so whether to bottle the whisky at 46% alcohol (Hepburn’s Choice), 50% alcohol (Old Malt Cask) or cask strength (First Editions, Old and Rare, Sovereign). The panel also then writes the tasting notes which appear on the bottles’ labels or accompanying certificates.
Occasionally the decision is made to re-rack the whisky into a different type of cask, or simply to leave it to mature for a few more years.
Casks which are to be bottled are then called forward to our bottling hall, Premier Bond, then carefully disgorged (emptied), reduced in alcohol if necessary by the gradual addition of pure water, then bottled and labelled entirely by hand. It is important to state that none of our single cask bottlings is ever artificially coloured or subjected to the process of chill-filtration.