This inaugurates a brief run of reviews of a number of K&L’s recent barrel selections from Signatory. These are all at cask strength—though in the cost-saving UCF bottles—and I believe they may all still be available (these notes are being taken long before this review will be posted and I am probably not going to remember to go back and check: you’re welcome!). I acquired these as bottle splits for the purpose of deciding if I wanted full bottles—my findings may be of interest to you as well.
There are some who make a case for Imperial (another closed distillery) being a bit of a hidden gem but I am yet to have any of its malt that I have found to be particularly remarkable—this includes another Signatory selection for K&L, a 17 yo that I had at 84 points. I am also yet to have very much of its malt so it’s entirely possible that I have not been lucky. Will this cask turn that around? Let’s see.
Imperial 19, 1995 (50.9%; Signatory for K&L; hogshead 50187; from a bottle split)
Nose: Bright and fruity (apple mostly) at first and then quite a bit of honey and biscuity malt; some orange peel below that and just a bit of gingerbread. After a minute or so the citrus gets more pronounced and it’s muskier now; some polished wood and some ripe banana to go with it. Not much interesting change with water.
Palate: Pretty much as advertised by the nose, except less citrussy; a nice, oily mouthfeel and it tastes “heavier” than the abv might suggest. With time the citrus expands here too but a metallic note develops as well that I’m not crazy about. Let’s see if water fixes that. Well, water does knock the metallic thing back a bit but it blands out the rest as well.
Finish: Medium. Some pepperiness here and then that metallic note shows up and hangs out a bit too long. As on the palate with water.
Comments: The nose was the best part but this was solid on the whole; not remarkable, no, but solid—and would have been better but for that metallic note on the palate and finish. I wouldn’t pay the asking price though (currently $100). If this review intrigues you (score aside) I’d recommend waiting to see if it gets discounted. If that means you end up missing out on it then so be it: there’s plenty of this Speyside profile available still from other distilleries that are still on the go.
Rating: 85 points.
I’m not detecting a metallic note at all. In fact I’m finding this Imperial to be a tasty if one dimensional fruit bomb. But I just opened my bottle a few days ago so I haven’t seen how the whisky will develop over time.
On a rather odd note I ended up getting bottle 1 of the cask which is something I’ve never seen. Usually by the time I see a numbered whisky bottle I end up with one in the hundreds. And yes, it’s a bit of a meaningless achievement but I like winning the occasional meaningless achievement.
LikeLiked by 1 person
A simple search tells me the word “metallic” pops up in most of the reviews, including this one, that I wrote up in mid-late December–so it might have been something off with my palate then. Then again it shows up quite consistently in my reviews in general—maybe there’s a note I’m sensitive to in a lot of whisky that I identify as “metallic”. Who knows?
On the second point, I think you have a high concept blog on your hand: one whisky drinker’s quest to acquire a collection of bottles numbered 1-99, each from a different single cask. You can call it “99 Bottles of Malt on the Wall”. We can work out my payment later.