5 of the Most Iconic Whiskey Bottles

How many times have you heard somebody say “it’s what’s in the bottle that counts?” I’ve definitely said it (and I believe it!), but that doesn’t mean the bottle itself has to be an afterthought. In an increasingly crowded market, packaging can make or break a whiskey, and when distilleries get it right, consumers notice. Here are five brands that have totally mastered the art of whiskey bottles, from the shape of the glass all the way to the tiny details of the closure:

Maker’s Mark

Who doesn’t recognize a bottle of Maker’s? Fire-engine red labeling, drippy wax, and a vaguely still-shaped bottle result in one of the most iconic bourbon bottles ever made. There’s a reason Maker’s Mark is one of the most popular newbie bourbons, and it’s not just because it tastes good – it looks good, too.

Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel’s square-sided bottle and black-and-white filigreed label can be spotted on a back bar from a mile away. That grippable, beveled bubble neck feels great in your hand, and the angled shoulders give the whole thing a vintage Americana vibe.

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7

The Dalmore

The 12-pointed stag emblazoned on every bottle of Dalmore is more than just a commanding image: it’s also a royal crest of Scotland, and Dalmore is allowed to use it (legend says) because a descendent of The Dalmore’s owners saved the King of Scotland from a charging stag in 1263.

The Dalmore Quintessence

The Dalmore Quintessence (image via The Dalmore)

Bruichladdich

Scotch bottle design can be a little…traditional (see The Dalmore above). But not Bruichladdich. A full contemporary redesign, bright colors and sans serif font included, brought their bottles firmly into the 21st century. Stand in front of a wall of Scotch bottlings, and Bruichladdich stands out, loud and clear.

Bruichladdich Islay Barley

Crown Royal

Crown Royal’s packaging is a literal interpretation of its name – a rounded, textured, crown-shaped bottled swaddled in fabric like a precious jewel. Whatever you think of the whisky, nobody mistakes the look of Crown Royal for anything else.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

About the author

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is a food and drinks writer based in Portland, Oregon. She's the managing editor of The Whiskey Wash, the managing editor of Edible Portland, and a regular contributor to local and national publications.