What Affects The Price Of Signatory Vintage Whisky
Selling Signatory Vintage whisky can seem like a daunting prospect. After all, there are so many ways that you can sell whisky. But which way is the most effective? And, how can you get the best price for your whisky? Well, that is where we come in.
At Mark Littler Ltd we can help you to sell your Signatory Vintage whisky quickly, stress-free, and for the best price. We make selling whisky online easy with Mark Littler Ltd.
What To Look For
Signatory Vintage Dumpy
Signatory Vintage’s Dumpy bottles are famous for their unique presentation and brightly coloured labels. They have released over 500 bottles in this style that was presented in a square box, lined with leather or velvet, in a colour of the client’s choice. The original Dumpy bottle comes with a gold-capped stopper cork, typically they were 75cl at 57.9% ABV, however this changed in 1992 when new regulations changed the volume of bottles from 75cl to 70cl.
The Dumpy is as famous for its labels as for the whisky itself and has undergone a vast progression over the years, but always utilising its signature typeface and artwork. The ‘ink’ label was the first label used for the collection and even after they changed it for the ‘Cask Label’ the ink style was still used for US releases.
The cask label followed the ink label in infamy, it includes an image of a cask, baring the Signatory calligraphy ‘S’. The stopper corks varied between gold and black, also baring the ‘S’. Some very rare single malts have been released under this label, including Glenflager and Kilyloch (the Glenflager was sealed with a screw top). A 29-year-old cask-labelled Signatory Vintage Clynelish 1965 recently sold for £5,100.
Signatory Vintage also released a selection of limited-edition bottles, themed around Christmas or dates marking anniversaries for the distillery or their distributors.
Signatory have released over 500 bottlings in their vintage collection, created in 1992. The collection generally consists of single malts less than 20 years old, presented in a classic tall bottle at 43% proof. The label follows the same format as the Dumpy bottles, listing the vintage, age, type of cask, cask number and number of bottles on the label. They were displayed in round tubes, initially made of card and later of metal. Bottles were all in the 70cl size and sealed with the cork stopper and bear the classic cask label.
The label for this collection evolved again in the late nineties, losing the familiar cask image in favour of gold lettering, with the Signatory ‘S’ and a gold feather; the label itself became much smaller, with the colouring of the background changing from white to an off-white duck-egg blue.
In 1999 they produced a specialist Millennium Edition with a white label. In this range they also produced a few rare magnums at 150cl, including the Caol Ila 1989, Highland Park 1988, Macallan 1990 and Rosebank 1990.
Signatory also produced some rare casks in a limited-edition bottle, which looked like a hybrid of the traditional tall bottle and the dumpy style, these were presented in a mahogany coloured wooden box, embellished with a gold plaque detailing the distillery and year of bottling. In further celebration of the millennium Signatory also bottled a 1965 Glen Grant in a decanter, which they sold with a miniature bottle of whisky included.
A bottle of 40-year-old Springbank 1969 Signatory Vintage recently sold for £6,999.
One of the most interesting bottles produced by Signatory Vintage is the Silent Stills collection, which consisted of a series of whiskies produced in closed distilleries. The new Signatory hybrid-style bottle was used for this and a new label was created.
This latest edition of the Signatory label was purple in colour and included the usual information; date of distillation, bottling date, cask and bottle number, volume and ABV. The illustration is completely different than the Dumpy and Vintage Collection, digressing from the usual calligraphy ‘S’ and cask image, instead including an image of the distillery and two lion silhouettes.
The bottle is presented in a satin lined wooden case, including a miniature bottle and a piece of the cask it had been produced in. The miniatures included in this collection quickly became a collector’s item and are much sought-after.
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The Six Factors That Affect The Price Of Signatory Vintage Whisky
There are six factors that will affect the price of your bottle of Signatory Vintage. These are the age of the whisky, the bottling date, the vintage, whether it is a single cask edition, the level of the whisky and the condition of the label and box.
Age of whisky
This refers to the number of years the whisky has spent maturing in the cask, not how long it has been in the bottle. The age is indicated on the label and can vary from 3 to well over 30 years old.
Most collectible bottles are over 10 years old and value usually increases with the age of the whisky. Whisky over 30 years old is the most sought after as it is the rarest.
Any whisky bottled at over 50 years old is highly desirable and a very limited number of distilleries have released whisky over 50 years old.
This relates to when the whisky was bottled. As bottles from a specific year are consumed, the remaining bottles become rarer, so even a ‘standard’ malt released in the 1980’s can become sought after.
If vintage is not stated bottle volume can be an indicator of bottling era. Bottles from the 1970s and earlier use fluid ounces (FL.OZ). In the 1980s standard bottles size was 75cl and in 1991 the standard size (in the EU) changed to 70cl. Note that standard bottle size is still 75cl in the USA, and other bottle sizes are occasionally used, in which case you will have to use other indicators.
The distillation year might also be described as the bottle vintage, and refers to the specific year in which the whisky was distilled (made). It is one of the most important factors that can impact the price of your collectible whisky.
In general, the earlier the distillation year the more collectible your bottle of whisky. Bottles from the first half of the 20th century are highly valued by collectors and fetch a premium. That being said, the bottler is also important, and so two whiskies distilled in the same year, at the same distillery, but bottled by different bottlers will vary in value.
Label & packaging
The label on a bottle of collectible whisky is very important and should be in pristine condition to fetch the highest value. If the label is damaged in any way, such as scratching, blemishing, pealing or mould, then this will have a negative impact on the value.
The box condition is almost as important as the label condition, and the correct box is very important to collectors. A bottle with a damaged or marked box will be worth less, and a bottle without its original box could be worth up to 30% less.
The level of the whisky has a large impact on the value. On almost all bottles it should be well into the neck, a level in the lower half of the neck is worth less and levels into the shoulder will significantly impact the value.
Older bottles are more prone to a drop in level as the bottles were not intended for storage. A drop in level implicates the long term storage prospects for any collector but as alcohol is more volatile than water it is the alcohol that will evaporate first, which impacts the flavour.
Single Cask Bottlings
Single cask bottlings are generally more sought after, as by default they are unique and usually of a significantly limited edition. Look out for numbers on your bottle like XXX/250, with the second number generally being less than 500, which would indicate a single cask edition.
Longer edition numbers such as XXX/5000 are often also collectible. These longer numbers usually indicate that the release is a vatting of a number of casks.
How We Can Help Sell Your Signatory Vintage Whisky
Our brokerage service is a simple, stress-free way to sell whisky. We will broker the sale between you and one of our buyers. For this service, we charge a 10% commission (inc. VAT) of the final sale price of the item. This avenue is fast and simple. We will take care of everything for you.
At Mark Littler Ltd we can also help you to sell whisky via auction. We have teamed up with the country’s leading online whisky auctions to help you to sell whisky at auction without the hassle. This is a great option for lower-value bottles, or if you do not mind taking some risks.
The final option is selling your whisky through our one-of-a-kind online shop. On our shop, we broker the sale of high-value bottles for our customers. Your bottle will sit amongst rare and expensive whisky and our advertising campaigns aim to draw the eye of whisky collectors everywhere.
What is the price of your Signatory Vintage whisky?
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The History Of Signatory Vintage
Signatory Vintage, owned by Andrew Symington, is a highly renowned and innovative independent bottler that often has somewhere in the region of 50 different single malt varieties at a time and include such diverse ranges as the Single Grain Collection, Cask Strength Collection and the Un-chill filtered collection.
Before establishing Signatory, Symington was assistant manager at the noted Prestonfield House Hotel. From there, he was responsible for critically acclaimed bottlings of Bowmore 1965 and a Springback 1967 with the Prestonfield House Label. This was the start of his career in the whisky bottling industry and where Signatory began.
It was in 1988 when Symington invested in what was at the time, the smallest bottling plant in Scotland, which gave him full control over the bottling process and set him apart from other organisations as a bona fide independent bottler. He started first with bottling Cask Strength whiskies, which was more-or-less unheard of during the 80s, with the Glenlivet 1968 Sherry-cask release.
In terms of quality, Signatory Vintage were more than a match for their main Scottish rivals, Gordon & MacPhail and Cadenhead. The company introduced some real innovations too, such as the number of bottles available, cask number and type of cask. Things that would greatly intertest whisky connoisseurs but were not often offered by other bottlers at the time. As if that wasn’t enough, they also hand numbered each label and bottled literally thousands of miniatures that were also hand numbered.
Signatory grew in prominence and became known for its Springback, Bowmore, Laphroaig and Ardbeg casks, along with the often-never-bottled and rarer Killyloch, Glen Glagler and Ben Wyvis brands. As of 2002, Symington bought the Edradour distillery in Pitlochry, and a building adjacent to it for all Signatory’s offices, bottling and bonding.
We contact our international network of customers for the best offers.
If you decide to proceed with an offer we issue you with a contract.
Send us your bottle. We have a fully insured courier service available.
We complete the sale with the buyer and send your funds via BACS.
Bottle Selling FAQ
“I found Mark’s details online after looking to sell a collectable bottle of whisky. I was going to use a well know auction site but Mark secured an offer higher than the highest estimation from any auction house, within days, even after the 10% commission was deducted. Communication was perfect; punctual, to the point and polite. Collection and delivery were taken care of by Mark and instruction was clear and easy to follow. Payment was received to my bank within days of posting the bottle. I can’t recommend Mark enough; he runs a tight ship gets top end offers from his clients and delivers quickly.”
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