WhiskyFest Review! Glenmorangie Signet

It seems from my blog search stats that the only Scotch anyone really wants to know about these days is the Glenmorangie Signet. So here is some new intelligence, straight from WhiskyFest in San Francisco (apologies for the delay in posting, I needed a day to recover from the event itself and then I had to make a business trip immediately after.)

After an hour tasting some very old Scotches during the VIP portion of the night, Dramfun and I approached the Glenmorangie table. They were displaying an empty bottle of Signet, affixed to a base making it look like something like a trophy. We inquired and were gently rebuffed – sorry not yet available in the U.S.

But then I mentioned Scotchtalk and miraculously the server knew about the blog, despite its short life span. Apparently Scotch distillers have nothing better to do than Google their brand names daily for any mention howsoever humble.

We hit it off, and he finally reached below the table with a conspiratorial look and “secretly” poured a generous dram for each of us. It all felt very exclusive, but it turned out to be a bit of an act, because another guy walked up behind us two minutes later and got the exact same treatment.

The real secret of the Signet is its use of so-called chocolate malt – the same stuff that’s used to make stout beer, including Guinness.

I will state right now, for the record, that Glenmorangie master distiller and Signet creator Bill Lumsden  is a genius. Glenmorangie has been taking lots of risks lately, leading the way in experimental bottlings based on numerous wood finishes and recasting its flagship recipes to great reviews.

The first thing that you notice with the Signet is the rich, dark reddish-amber color. The nose is redolent of old leather, with some citrus tones and possibly apple. The weight and texture in the mouth was the most striking feature to me, it is quite simply to die for. Not terribly spicy, extraordinarily complex, with a long smooth finish.

We were drinking some exceptional Scotches at the WhiskyFest including a 35yo Glenfarclas and a 31yo Stronachie but the Signet was certainly a highlight even among this rarefied company, particularly at the suggested retail price of about $185 per bottle.

Glenmorangie has announced availability in October but I have yet to see it in a store – if anyone comes across a retail source please let us know in the comments.

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~ by whisky1 on October 17, 2008.

3 Responses to “WhiskyFest Review! Glenmorangie Signet”

  1. Good website. Have been to many distilleries all over Scotland and it is very interesting how the techniques can vary. I will stay tuned.

  2. bought a bottle in Geneva Airport on the 17th of October. Tasted it this weekend. A good one. Need to taste “more” to give better judgement.

  3. I think it’s a real cracker. Beautiful nose, indeed old leather, citrus, chocolate, coffeeish and a sensational complex taste, spicy and chocolate, but not dominantly!

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