Here is another of Glenmorangie’s special edition whiskies (though this is, I think, an ongoing small batch release). Unlike the Ealanta, the Signet carries no age statement, but like it it has somewhat unusual origins. Whereas the Ealanta’s claim to difference is its 19 years in virgin oak casks, the Signet’s claim to fame is both the use of roasted “chocolate barley” malt as well as “designer bespoke casks”. What exactly makes the casks different or how much of the malt used is the special kind, I’m not sure. The information is probably out there but I’m too lazy to check. I’m not in the business of providing information, after all, only unreliable reviews.
I’ve had the Signet before and liked it a lot. On that occasion I bemoaned its asking price (about $180 in most US markets) which is, in my opinion, out of keeping with its quality: it’s good but it’s not that good, and I’ve never really been tempted to get a full bottle. However, I have wanted to taste it again and so when another sample swap provided an opportunity, I took it.
Glenmorangie Signet (46%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Roasted malt, honey, a touch of orange peel and a bit of rye. Toasted wood floats out from below all that and the citrus gets a little stronger (some lemon peel now); some apricot jam too. Not much change after that. And no real change with water either.
Palate: Very much as on the nose—wonderfully balanced. There’s a bit of cocoa powder here. The texture is a bit thin. On the second and third sip there’s quite a lot of the orange peel but also something vaguely metallic. No interesting development with time (except that the metallic note gets a bit stronger); let’s see what water does: nothing good, really—everything sort of washes out.
Finish: Long. The honey, citrus and spicy wood are what linger with an increasing menthol coolness.
Comments: I didn’t like this quite as much this time as I did when I last had a large’ish sample. It wouldn’t surprise me if this came from towards the end of the bottle—the balance unravels a little bit with time. I didn’t think this would happen when I set out to review this and the Ealanta (I tasted them on the same evening) but I like the Ealanta a bit more. Might be different from a fresh bottle.
Rating: 86 points.
Thanks to Sku for the sample!