Whisky miniatures – why are they so popular?

by Paramount Digital

Whisky miniatures

How much would you be willing to pay for a whisky miniature?

Earlier this year, a tiny bottle of single malt whisky was sold for a whopping £6440 at auction. The record-breaking sum was paid for a 50ml measure of Springbank – a Campbeltown Scotch, distilled in 1919. And officially, it’s the most expensive miniature ever to be sold.

The auction director, Isabel Graham-Yooll, explained how – in recent years – they’ve seen a ‘wonderful renaissance’ for the appreciation of rare mini whisky bottles. It seems, people are willing to pay lots of money for small measures of whisky, just so they can taste a little piece of history.

As an HMRC-verified bottler, it’s fair to say, we’re also a big fan of the mini liquor bottle. After all, they form the basis of our luxury whisky miniature sets – with each one containing either three or five 30ml measures. And, here, we delve a little deeper into their history and explore why they’ve become so popular amongst modern-day whisky enthusiasts.

Powers – the pioneer of mini whisky bottles

In 1889, ‘John Power & Son Irish Whiskey’ became the first spirits company in the world to produce whisky miniatures. Affectionately named ‘Baby Power’, the 71ml measure was sold in a corked bottle and supplied with a mini corkscrew – so that it could be opened without making a mess.

There are two stories of where the idea came from.

Some people believe the mini bottle was inspired by the coachmen, who transported the Power family around Dublin. These men are said to have carried a small flask, with just enough Irish whiskey to keep them warm, without getting them too drunk to drive.

Others believe it was designed to allow distillery workers to sample the product they made. At the time, Irish whiskey was very expensive and even those on the best working class wage couldn’t afford it. But by selling it in mini bottles, Powers made the spirit accessible to everyone.

Over a century later, it’s impossible to know for sure what motivated the invention of miniature whisky bottles. But regardless of where the inspiration came from, there’s no denying it changed the industry – and, now, it’s difficult to imagine the whisky world without them!


The first mini whisky bottles

So, why are they such a hit?

Initially, whisky miniatures are likely to have been popular due to their low cost - but nowadays, it’s more about choice.

Mini bottles are an easy way to explore the history and diversity of the spirit. They offer an opportunity to sample lots of different whisky varieties – including old and rare, premium, and limited-edition whiskies, that are perhaps difficult to find in their standard-sized bottles. And it’s possible to identify your favourite tipples, without committing to a full bottle every time.  

Our carefully curated whisky miniature sets

Here at Whisky Tasting Company, we may not stock whiskies dating as far back as 1919 – but we do collaborate with some of the best independent distilleries and blenders in the country.

These whisky giants very kindly allow us to decant their spirits into our unique 30ml mini whisky bottles. And as such, we’re able to produce a fantastic selection of whisky miniature gift sets – featuring old and rare whiskies, irreplaceable limited editions and whiskies from long lost distilleries.


 Whisky miniature set available at Whisky Tasting Company


One of our absolute best-sellers is the ‘Old and Rare Scotch Whisky Gift Set’. This features five 30ml measures of single malt and single grain whiskies, including:

  • Tomintoul Five Decades Single Malt
  • Cameronbridge Aged 30 Years
  • Big Peat The Black Edition Aged 27 Years
  • Tamnavulin Aged 27 Years
  • Glen Scotia Victoriana

The whisky miniatures come presented in a beautiful hand-finished gift box and are accompanied by luxury tasting cards, with interesting facts and information about each spirit. Priced at just £69.35, the set offers an easy way to sample these delicious, rare whiskies – without breaking the bank or spending thousands of pounds at auction! So, why not treat yourself?

Take a look through our full ‘old and rare’ collection today. See which whisky miniature set takes your fancy and place your order. And remember, if you have any questions – or would like to find out more about our whiskies and how they’re bottled – you’re welcome to get in touch at any time. Either call us on 01743 247220 or fill out our contact form and we’ll respond as soon as possible.