Lost Lantern launched in 2020 with a vision of bringing the traditional model of the Scotch independent bottler to the world of American whiskey, and to the 21st century. We believed that this historic tradition was the perfect way to help whiskey lovers discover the ever-increasing realm of American whiskey, and the wonderful new distilleries and whiskies that had begun to emerge all over the country. To us, one of the hallmarks of Scotch independent bottlers–venerable companies like Cadenhead, Gordon & MacPhail, Douglas Laing, and many others–was transparency, the willingness to proudly state exactly where their whiskey came from, whether that was a world-famous distillery or one that was virtually unknown because it normally sold all its whiskies to blending houses. We have always sought to maintain that same spirit of transparency with our whiskies, as well as their commitment to showcasing an incredible range of whiskies and flavors.
We have always followed in their footsteps, but in a country that has never had a tradition of independent bottling, working with distilleries that often have never sold their whiskey to anyone before.
And so it was our incredible honor in February 2023 when we were named the 2023 U.S. Independent Bottler of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards in Kentucky. It was a sign that what we were doing was being recognized. And it also made us a finalist for the global award, competing against the best independent bottlers in Scotland, Ireland, and the rest of the world. And…
We are very, very excited to share that we won! At the Icons of Whisky Awards Gala in London on March 30, 2023, we were officially named the 2023 Independent Bottler of the Year! For the entire world! Nora, our cofounder and general manager, made the trek to London to accept the award in person, with luminaries from all across the whiskey world looking on.
Lost Lantern is the 2023 Independent Bottler of the Year!
We see this global award as an incredible honor, and a true validation of our vision for an American independent bottler that adapts the two-century-old tradition of independent bottling to the new world of American whiskey. We are still a very young company, but in our first two and a half years in business, we’ve released both our flagship blend (one of the first blends of American single malt ever made) and 40 single casks, every one of them labeled with its distillery of origin, with a label telling the story of that distillery. We’ve bought whiskey from more than two dozen distilleries in sixteen states, told their stories, and shared why we’re excited about them. And that’s just what we’ve done so far!
We’re incredibly honored to be named the 2023 Independent Bottler of the Year, all the more so because the World Whiskies Awards and the Icons of Whisky are put on by Whisky Magazine—by far the most prestigious Scotch whisky magazine, with a world-class array of judges behind them. If anyone knows what makes a great independent bottler, it’s them!
Yet in some ways, our work has just begun. Independent bottling is very new to the United States, and although there are many lovers of I.B. Scotch throughout the country, this whole way of doing things is still very new to American whiskey… and very new to lovers of bourbon and rye who aren’t as familiar with Scotch tradition. We look forward to many years ahead of shining a light on great whiskey, and helping people discover and get their hands on things they otherwise wouldn’t.
The Future and Past of Lost Lantern
2023 is going to be a big year for us. A few days after the awards, we announced the Lost Lantern Single Distillery Series, our first major new product line since our launch. We will also continue to explore blending whiskies from multiple distilleries to bring flavors together in entirely new ways, and see this area as a major part of the future of American whiskey. There are many directions the future of independent bottling can go in, and we’re thrilled to be on the vanguard, exploring and building this new frontier.
At the same time, we wanted to thank everyone who has supported us since our launch in 2020, whether they’ve been following us from the very beginning or just discovered us recently. We know for a certainty that some of our supporters have known and loved independently bottled Scotch for many years, and were thrilled to see an American company bringing this model to American whiskey. And we also know for a certainty that some of our supporters never even heard of an independent bottler before we came around, but love the way we let them explore whiskey and distilleries in a new way. Most of all, we’re thrilled by the incredible excitement around what we’re doing. Launching something new and different always involves a great deal of uncertainty. Seeing so much excitement about what we’re doing, seeing the reception our whiskies have gotten and how many people are rooting for us and are excited that we exist, really means the world to us. And, of course, we never would have made it anywhere without the support of our distillery partners. These places trusted us with their whiskey, and with their brand names, some of them before we had any track record at all beyond our previous roles in the industry. We took that trust very seriously, and always will.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us, and to the judges behind the Icons of Whisky for bestowing on us this incredible honor of being the 2023 Independent Bottler of the Year. Cheers, and thank you all for coming on this journey with us!