On the Trail

SOVEREIGN

Sovereign is an independent whisky label run by the Hunter Laing Company that now focuses primarily on single grain Scotch whiskies. Grain whiskies are primarily made from corn, wheat, or unmalted barley and are distilled in large column stills like Bourbon, rather than in copper pot stills like single malt. Grain whisky is added to single malt whisky to created blended whisky, like Johnnie Walker or Dewar's. While we tend to think that blended whisky means "a blend of whiskies from different distilleries", the term actually refers to a blend of two different types of whisky: single malt and single grain. 

Rarely, however, are single grain whiskies bottled on their own from individual casks. Grain whisky is often maligned as cheap, industrial grade filler meant to stretch out the volume of a producer's higher-quality single malt. What the Sovereign label has shown us, however, is that grain whisky can be quite incredible on its own.  Over the years we've worked directly with Hunter Laing we've been able to purchase 40 and 50 year old single grain whiskies for prices that seem quite low considering the maturity of the product. Our direct relationship with the company gives us unprecedented access to the private stocks, allowing us a variety of selection at K&L that goes well beyond the average American retailer.