Signature (whisky)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

TypeIndian whisky
ManufacturerUnited Spirits Ltd (USL)
Country of origin India
Alcohol by volume 42.8%[1]
ColourBright amber[1]
  • Signature Rare Aged
  • Signature Premier Grain
Related products

Signature, also known as McDowell's Signature, is a brand of Indian whisky, manufactured by United Spirits Ltd (USL), a subsidiary of Diageo. It was launched in 1994.[2][3] Signature is a blend of imported Scotch whisky and locally produced products.[4] Signature is sold in octagonal bottles which were designed by London-based design firm Claessens International, who also designed the packaging of the bottle.[5] It is available in two variants – Signature Rare Aged and Signature Premier Grain.[4]


Signature was launched in 1994 by United Spirits Ltd, formerly known as McDowell Spirits Ltd.[2][3][6]

Signature was initially available in quarts (750 ml bottles). 180 ml and 375 ml sizes were introduced in October 1999.[7] Initially launched in the super-premium segment of the Indian whisky market, Signature was lowered to the premium category in 2001.[8] Signature began being sold in Canteen Stores Depot (CSD) for defence services in January 2002.[9] Signature was launched in Tamil Nadu on 5 August 2004.[5]


Signature's marketing associates the brand with lifestyle events and "elite sports"[8][10] such as golf, derby, tennis and polo, besides hosting seminars featuring experts in the field of management and marketing, as well as promoting theatre.[2][3] Signature sponsors the McDowell's Indian Derby, an annual horse racing event, as well as "Signature IPL Nights", the after match parties of the Indian Premier League. Another event sponsored by the brand is the annual "Signature Fashion Tour".[4] The Signature polo team won the Indian Open Polo Championship in 2002. The McDowell's Signature Club Golf Championship, sponsored by the brand, was launched in 2002.[3]

Signature sponsored Boniface Prabhu's participation at the 2003 French Open Wheelchair Tennis Championship.[11] The following year, and advertised at sports and theatre events, with an advertising budget of 8–10 crore that year. It also unveiled an "Icon Series" advertising campaign, which featured entrepreneurs Alok Kejriwal of Contest2Win and Jay Galla of Amaron Batteries "as people who came from nowhere to script new corporate success stories".[2]

In July 2006, Mudra, Bangalore took as the creative agency for the Signature brand from Rediffusion DY&R, Bangalore.[12] In November 2012, Akshay Kumar was signed as the brand ambassador of Signature for their 13-week "Success is living in the spotlight" campaign.[13] Abhay Deol was the brand ambassador for Signature Premier in 2012.[14][15]


In the 2008–09 fiscal year, sales of Signature whisky crossed 1 million cases for the first time.[16]

The following table shows the annual sales of Signature Rare:

Year Sales (in million cases)
1998–99 0.018[3]
2000 0.20[8]
2002 0.18[3]
2003 0.22[17]
2009 1.1[18]
2010 1.3[18]
2011 1.6[18]
2012 1.8[19]


Signature Rare[edit]

  • Bronze at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.[20]
  • Gold in "Blended Whisky (Under 10 Years Old)" category at the 2010 International Whisky Competition in Chicago.[21]
  • Indiastar Award in 2002 for "its innovative concept, visual appeal and convenience".[22]
  • Silver and best in class at the 2005 International Wine and Spirit Competition.[20]

Signature Premier[edit]

  • "Whisky of the Year 2012" at the International Whisky Competition in Chicago[14][15][23]
  • "Whisky of the Year 2012" at the World Spirits Awards in Austria[14][15]
  • Second among "India's Most Trusted Whisky Brands 2014" according to the Brand Trust Report, a study conducted by Trust Research Advisory[24]
  • Silver at the Ninth ISW International Spirits Competition in Germany[14][15]


  1. ^ a b "Spirits Review for Signature Rare Aged Whisky $6". Archived from the original on 24 March 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "UB expects CSD sales to boost Signature whisky". Business Line. 5 February 2004. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "UB Spirits Division Eyes 27% Growth For Signature Sales". The Financial Express. 4 July 2003. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Signature". Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b "UB's 'Signature' whisky in TN". Business Line. 6 August 2004. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  6. ^ "United Spirits Ltd Background details about Company Profile". Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Signature Whisky in nips and pints". The Financial Express. 9 September 1999. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "Signature whisky pushed to premium category". The Economic Times. 16 November 2001. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Defence canteen supply – McDowell's Signature takes on Royal Challenge whisky". Business Line. 9 January 2002. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  10. ^ Anil Urs (3 October 2002). "McDowell's Signature to enter defence canteen stores". The Economic Times. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Signature to sponsor Boniface Prabhu". Business Line. 25 June 2003. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Mudra bags the creative duties for McDowell's Signature Whisky". 25 July 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Akshay new brand ambassador of McDowell Signature". DNA. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d "India's First Aged Whisky – Signature Premier – Completes its Maiden Year on a High". 22 June 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d "India's First Aged Whisky – Signature Premier – Completes its Maiden Year on a High". Central Chronicle. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  16. ^ "United Spirits FY09 profit falls 5%". The Economic Times. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Seagram knocks out Royal Challenge from top slot in AP". Business Line. 16 March 2004. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  18. ^ a b c "WORLD WHISKIES – Brand Champions 2012". 18 July 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Indian Whisky Brand Champions 2013". July 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Signature Award". Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  21. ^ "The 2010 International Whisky Competition Announces the Official Results for the Best Whiskies of the Year". 18 April 2010. Archived from the original on 5 July 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  22. ^ "Indiastar Award 2002 goes to McDowell's Signature Rare Whisky Mobile Bar Pack". 5 December 2002. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  23. ^ "International Whisky Competition Unveils Winning Whiskies for 2012". 18 April 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  24. ^ "India's Most Trusted Alcoholic Beverages 2014". Trust Research Advisory. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014.

External links[edit]