The company was founded in 1988. It is a family owned and managed company, being one of only three true independent bottlers. 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 we purchased was a cask of 1968 Glenlivet, which was sold long before we could find a famous person.
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 licence 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. To add to the exclusivity of their bottlings, they often declare the cask number, date of distillation,and date of bottling on our 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.
Signatory owns the smallest distillery from Scotland, Edradour since 22 july 2002