Imperial 20, 1995 (Signatory for K&L)

Imperial 20, 1995, Signatory for K&L
Here is the fourth and last review of what has turned out to be a pretty mediocre run of Signatory exclusive casks for K&L. Will this be the one to go past 80 points? I wasn’t terribly impressed with the last two Signatory Imperial 1995s for K&L that I reviewed: those were this 19 yo from last year and this 17 yo from their 2013 run of exclusive casks: I recorded 85 points for the 19 yo and 84 points for the 17 yo. Frankly, after the lackluster Linkwood, Glenburgie and Dufftown from this go-around I’d be very happy if this were a 84 point malt! At any rate, I am very glad indeed that I was able to taste all of these through bottle splits instead of buying full bottles of what seemed like “good values” that I would have completely regretted—as I have on many occasions in the past.

Let’s see how it goes. 

Imperial 20, 1995 (49.1%; Signatory for K&L; hogshead #50267; from a bottle split)

Nose: Tart apple with muskier, lemony notes coming up from below. Gets maltier as it sits but there’s no other development after that. Maltier still with water and a little bit biscuity too.

Palate: Comes in oddly flat but at least there are no off-notes. Some lemon, some more apple, a bit of oak but nothing with any pop. More lemony on the second sip and now there’s more lemon zest. Some peppery, mineral oil notes too with time. Okay, let’s see what water does. Well, it makes it sharper and washes out the fruit.

Finish: Medium-long. The alcohol heat seems to expand on the finish but there’s no new interesting development. More acidic here too with water.

Comments: Well, this is the best of the lot but that’s not saying a whole lot. And when you factor in the higher price I don’t know that there’s any effective difference. I cannot imagine paying $120 for this. Your mileage may vary. What will certainly not vary for me is the policy of, as far as possible, trying before buying K&L exclusives.

Rating: 82 points.

6 thoughts on “Imperial 20, 1995 (Signatory for K&L)

  1. Nice series! Your reviews are entirely consistent with those of your neighbor at whiskymusings.com.
    Of course, if one wants a solid “82-83 points” whisky they can go to the closest wine store and spend $24 on a bottle of Speyburn 10yo. That’s what I do.

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  2. Well…damn. Thanks for taking the time to review all four of those casks. I may instead put my money towards the two Hepburn’s Choice casks they posted to the website today (check out their Spirits Journal for details). You’re more than welcome to samples of both.

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  3. Let us know how those casks are. I can’t say I’m ever very convinced by Driscoll’s “best single malt deals” or “favorite…casks of the year” pronouncements.

    But I do always love the little capsule reviews by other K&L staff members on their online store listings. They remind me of the Onion’s “American Voices“.

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