Highland Single Malt Whisky
In the autumn of 2008, it was hard to be in any whisky nerd conversation, geeky whisky forum, or read whisky magazines without coming across the buzz around Glenmorangie Signet.
Designed by Dr. Bill Lumsden over the past decade, Signet is made with spirit that included some roasted and chocolate barley (refers to the toasting level, not actual chocolate) vatted with mature Gelnmorangie of older vintages. More details of the recipe and cask selection at Whisky Pages. Its name is inspired by the 8th century pict logo on the Cadbol Stone found on distillery property and the packaging is absolutely stunning, in my opinion. Good post on the stone and the whisky at WhiskyViking.
Hearing Dr. Bill talk about the Signet is quite an experience as his excitement for the spirit goes beyond that of a biochemist proud of his test results into the realm of a mad whisky scientist enthusiastically celebrating a successful experiment, in his words, "one of our greatest and most complex creations to date."
I remember drinking this on a boat on the Hudson River, under stars and memorial bars of light from the site of the twin towers, among people relaying stories of where they were that tragic day in September. An inspiring moment with an inspiring dram.
For more distillery info and to see all Glenmorangies had on the mission, click HERE. Cheers for the drop, DB.
Intimidatingly complex. Rye (the grain, not the spirit), almond oil, pepper, face cream, Japanese seaweed crackers, vintage clothing shops, cocoa powder, kiwi, 3 Musketeers, black bean sauce, pecan pie... I could go on. And will on my own time. Incredibly un-Scotch-y, in a way. I could be convinced that this is some new creation from John Hall's Forty Creek.
Toasty and malty with a complex and punchy array of coffee, mint chocolate, kidney beans, raspberries, pecans, crepes, maple, and more. Gorgeous nutty finish with the balance of oak influences reaching for heaven.
Un-traditional, or perhaps more accurately atypical, whisky in every sense and to every sense, and quite exhilarating as a result. A drop of water sweetens the nose but really collapses the delivery on the palate, although it unpacks the tight package of flavour in a most pleasing way.
"Unlike anything released before," reads the press release, and the grand statement is completely true. I have also read Signet referred to as "the dark side of Glenmorangie." Also true. But more than just an impressive whisky, this release is monumental in that it takes our perception of Glenmorangie from Scotland's Favourite Malt Whisky to One of the World's Greatest Malt Whiskies, a key step in markets like Singapore, where this whisky was initially launched, and world-wide. Perfect balance of wise marketing and wonderful whisky-making. If only I could afford a bottle. I imagine the packaging alone, as gorgeous as it is, would put a dent in my wallet... literally; the stopper is even heavier than Dewar's Signature.
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