Vat 69

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Vat69.jpg
A bottle of Vat 69 whisky.
TypeScotch blended whisky
ManufacturerWilliam Sanderson & Son Limited
DistributorDiageo
Country of originScotland
Introduced1882
 
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Vat69.jpg
A bottle of Vat 69 whisky.
TypeScotch blended whisky
ManufacturerWilliam Sanderson & Son Limited
DistributorDiageo
Country of originScotland
Introduced1882

Vat 69 is a Scotch blended whisky manufactured by William Sanderson & Son Limited of South Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland, now part of Diageo. The whisky was at first bottled in Port bottles.

History[edit]

William Sanderson was born in Leith, Scotland, in 1839. He started an apprenticeship with a wine and spirituous liquors producer at the age of 13. In 1863, he already owned his own business and produced liqueurs and whisky blends. In 1880, his son William Mark joined the business. William Mark persuaded his father to bottle various blends of whisky.

The typical Vat 69 bottle was introduced to the market and was not changed for the next hundred years. In 1882, William Sanderson prepared one hundred casks of blended whisky and hired a panel of experts to taste them. The batch from the cask (or “vat”) with number 69 was judged to be the best, and this provided the whisky's brand name. The whisky was at first bottled in Port bottles. In 1884, Sanderson bought the Glengarioch Distillery. It was situated in the middle of a barley field. The distillery was meant to ensure the delivery with grain whisky. Sanderson took care that there were always new products to be blended, because DCL, which was a strong society at that time, controlled such a big amount of the production, that it could influence the supply of the competing company very sensitively. Therefore Sanderson, together with Usher and Bell founded a company to produce grain whisky, which still exists today as the "North British Distillery". Sanderson got a few Malt Whiskys that he needed to blend his VAT 69 from a friend, John Begg, who owned the "Royal Lochnagar Distillery". When Begg died, Sanderson became director of Begg's Distillery. In 1933, Sanderson's company merged with Booth's Distilleries, which merged again with the DCL-Group in 1935. In autumn 1980, "Vat 69 Reserve" from the House of Sanderson had its world première in England. Chosen and optimal stored malt whiskys are used to produce this De-Luxe-Whisky.

Blend[edit]

Vat 69 production in 1972.

Despite the name it is not a vatted malt but a blend of about 40 malt and grain whiskies. The different malts are blended with each other at the optimal ripening stage to ensure the best blend. This means that a light malt of eight years, having reached its ripening summit and coming from the Lowlands adds the same result to the blend as an 18-year-ripened peat malt from Islay.[citation needed] Therefore Vat 69 Reserve carries no standard age statement.

Since autumn 1980, Glenesk, which is a 12 year old Highland Single Malt (40%), is available from Sanderson in Germany. Glenesk is stored for at least 12 years in sherry barrels. Since 1964, William Sanderson & Sons Ltd. has produced "Antiquary", which is a 12 year old De-Luxe-Scotch-Whisky (40%).

Products[edit]

Whisky products available from Sanderson in Germany are:

Whisky products available from Sanderson in Australia are:

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