AN independent Scotch whisky bottler is targeting South Africa with its latest label, writes Scott Wright.

The Whisky Cellar, established by former Edrington executive Keith Bonnington in 2016, is bidding to capitalise on growing interest in whisky in South Africa with five single casks bottled under its Private Cellars Selection label.

The whiskies, which are bottled at natural strength with no added colouring and no chill-filtration, were selected by the Edinburgh-based firm and its South Africa partner Bottega Whiskey Club. They have been bottled exclusively for South Africa, where Mr Bonnington helped establish Edrington Africa in Johannesburg in 2013. The casks which the whiskies are drawn from include a single barrel Scotch distilled at Laphroaig on Islay in 2004, and a 1993 hogshead from Linkwood on Speyside.

Mr Bonnington said: “While we intend to take our Private Cellars Selection label to a wider global audience and establish a presence in our home market, there is a clear gap right now in South Africa for independent bottlers.”

The most recent annual figures from the Scotch Whisky Association showed that South Africa imported 41.8 million bottles of Scotch whisky in 2018, making it the industry’s ninth biggest export market by volume.