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Wm. Sanderson & Son was established on what was then known as Quality Street in the Leith district of Edinburgh in 1863. William Sanderson’s most famous product, the Vat 69 blend was launched nineteen years later. The story goes that he invited friends to sample a total of 100 different casks in his possession. After receiving the feedback, it was declared that the 69th cask was the overall favourite, and the name of his blend was born. It was so successful that Sanderson bought into Glen Garioch to secure its malt supply and went even further to secure its grain, breaking the DCL-monopoly on the spirit by co-funding the creation of North British distillery alongside John Crabbie, Andrew Usher and John Watson. This independence was not to last however, and Wm. Sanderson & Son was acquired by DCL in 1937, who eventually shut the historic Leith office in 1969, moving the blender to South Queensferry. Glen Garioch was also sold to Stanley Morrison, with DCL granting Wm. Sanderson & Son the license to Glenesk instead. Although United Distillers would eventually reclaim all of its single malt brands. Sanderson is one of the few blenders still to feature on modern day Diageo products, and remains a cult classic to this day.
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