A Glimpse Into the History of Signatory Vintage
Signatory Vintage may not hold the title of Scotland's oldest independent bottler, yet they have managed to build a reputation as one of the most prolific independent bottlers of single malt whisky anywhere in the world.
The company was founded in 1988 by Andrew Symington, a previous manager at the notable five-star hotel in Edinburgh, Prestonfield House. It was during his time here that he discovered the joys of single malt whisky, particularly single cask whisky, and grew a network of friends who shared his passions in the whisky world. Whisky importers would regularly attend gala evenings and events at the hotel, bringing along samples of old malts that Andrew had the privilege to sample. Andrew's extensive knowledge of the flavour profiles of wine, gained through his experience at the hotel, stood him in good stead as he applied this understanding to the new and diverse flavours offered by the whiskies he was tasting.
After a number of years exploring single malts, Andrew had the idea that he wanted to bottle single malt whisky at cask-strength. One evening he acquired a number of samples from Peter Russell (of Peter J. Russell Co. in Edinburgh, the predecessor of Ian Macleod Distillers) and was particularly charmed by a 1968 vintage Glenlivet. This became the first cask that Andrew purchased and was the very start of his independent bottling journey. Today, Signatory Vintage have access to approximately 35,000 casks and have grown a global reputation for bottling quality spirits.
When Andrew started the company in the late 1980s there were very few other independent bottlers within the industry and this afforded access to some truly amazing casks from the 1950s-1970s, a legendary period in Scotch Whisky production. Signatory Vintage were also the first to bottle a number of expressions from lost distilleries such as Killyloch and Glenflagler as single malts, which previously had not been available on the market. Their role in preserving the liquid from these closed distilleries is significant, offering whisky lovers the chance to sample a piece of whisky history otherwise lost to time.
Today, Signatory Vintage are renowned as one of the most discerning independent bottlers of rare and exclusive Scotch. They bottle one cask at a time, capitalising on the unique colour and flavour characteristics of each individual cask. Their emblematic single malts are recognised worldwide for their exceptional quality and character.
As of 2002, the Signatory Vintage Whisky Company also became the owners of Edradour Distillery.
Iconic Bottlings From Signatory Vintage
Below are just a few of the most iconic and collectible bottlings ever released by Signatory Vintage:
Exceptional 1960s Islay
The 1960s are considered to be a golden era of production for a number of Islay distilleries, arguably none so much as Bowmore and Laphroaig. Signatory Vintage have released a number of iconic bottlings from both distilleries from this period, highlights include:
Ardbeg 1967 30 Year Old Sherry Butt #1142 & 1142, Ardbeg 1967 28 Year Old / Pale Oloroso Butt #575, Laphroaig 1967 27 Year Old, and the Laphroaig 1966 31 Year Old.
Signatory Vintage Cask Strength Collection
A legendary series of releases, the Cask Strength Collection from Signatory Vintage has included some exceptional bottlings over the years. Each release has been bottled at cask strength and with no artificial colouring. Highlight bottlings include the Springbank 1969 40 Year Old Cask Strength, once the highest rated whisky on WhiskyBase.com, and the Bowmore 1974 Cask Strength, matured in a single Hogshead #4435 for 42 years and bottled in 2017.
Sought-after Silent Stills
The Silent Stills series from Signatory Vintage highlights Scotland's lost distilleries, many that remain closed to this date but a few that have since returned in recent years. Legendary bottlings from this increasingly rare series include expressions from Glenugie, Glenglassaugh, Lochside and Dallas Dhu distilleries.
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