This month features 5 killer drams hand-picked by Signatory Vintage. Each sample is a unique taste of some highly sought after barrels from the largest (and best) distilleries in Scotland. In fact I was pretty hesitant about giving out the Fettercairn samples because it’s my #1 favorite drop at the moment.
Let’s have a look at the history of Signatory Vintage.
The company was founded in 1988. It is a family owned and managed company, being one of only three true independent bottlers in Scotland. They always like to draw a distinction between the independent companies who bottle their own products, and the independent companies whose products are bottled under contract.
The other fully independent bottlers are: Gordon & MacPhail and Wm.Cadenhead.
The name of Signatory derived from the fact that their initial intention was to find someone famous to sign the labels for bottles produced from one single cask. The first cask they purchased was a cask of 1968 Glenlivet, which was sold long before they could find a famous person. So they just used any “signatory” they could find.
Until April 1992, when they moved to their current premises in Newhaven (Edinburgh), they operated from a bonded warehouse in Leith. Leith was once a well-known port for importing wine from France.
As this industry declined, many of the whisky companies began to occupy the old warehouses for cask storage purposes. In recent years, this has also declined, with the larger companies moving to the west of Edinburgh, where transport links are better.
In April 1992, as the company began to grow, they moved to much larger premises. Here, they were granted a license to bottle their own products on site. They set-up a small line bottling system, primarily geared towards the bottling of single casks. Although the actual bottling of whisky is semi-automated, the emphasis is very much a hands-on operation, with hand labeling and packing of products. This is something we at The Whisky Order can relate to all too well J
To add to the exclusivity of their bottlings, they often declare the cask number, date of distillation, and date of bottling on the labels. In addition, each bottle is individually hand numbered.
It is their aim, as an independent bottler to offer a range of whiskies, some of which are not bottled by the proprietor of a particular distillery, and some at different ages/strengths to those offered as distillery bottlings.
The majority of their bottlings are the product of single casks, with the malt whisky enthusiast being given the opportunity to sample the subtle differences which occur with each different cask.
Since 22 July 2002, Signatory has also owned the smallest distillery from Scotland, Edradour.
If you enjoyed this months tastings and you want to purchase. Please click on the title of the bottle and purchase from our friends over that The Whisky Company.
A 20-year-old expression from Speyside's rarely-seen Glen Keith distillery.
Glen Keith is a big part of the Chivas Regal blends, but as a single malt is known to be quite floral and delicate with plenty of depth.
Distilled 8 November it was matured in hogsheads #171211 and #171212. Bottled 1 February, there are 561 bottles in the run.
Bottled as part of the Un-Chillfiltered Collection, this is offered at 46% with natural colour.
From Signatory Vintage's Un-Chillfiltered vintage is this 1996 vintage from the Fettercairn distillery.
A distillery with very limited single malt offerings, particularly in Australia, this was matured in ex-bourbon hogsheads #4351 and #4356.
It was distilled 30 September 1996 and bottled 29 October 2015 - making it 19 years old.
Bottled at 46% at natural colour.
2016 bottling of a 20-year-old from Speyside's Dailuaine distillery.
With most of the distillery output used for blends, the character can be quite varied but it's always rewarding.
This was distilled 21 May 1997 and matured for 18 years in hogsheads #7180 and #7184. It was bottled 14 January 2016.
Offered at 46% without chill-filtration and without added colouring.
A 1997 vintage Glenrothes bottled at 46% and un-chill filtered by indie bottlers Signatory Vintage.
This is a bit a of a treat for Glenrothes fans, as their official bottlings often appear at 43%.
This single cask expression was distilled 17 October 1997 and matured in a refill sherry butt for 18 years. It was bottled 25 February 2016.
The Glenrothes distillery has historically provided whiskies for the Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse blends, but has emerged as a singee malt force thanks to their soft, creamy, easy-drinking spirit. It works well - albeit in very different ways - when matured in either ex-bourbon or ex-sherry casks
A 2006 vintage Glenlivet bottled at 46%.
It’s Un-Chillfiltered and was distilled on 17 October 2006, it was aged in a first-fill sherry butt for nine years until being bottled on 8 September 2016.
Cask Number 901043