Glenmorangie Signet Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Signet’s creator, Bill Lumsden, perhaps put it best - calling it the culmination of a lifetime of experimentation and innovation. For me, I see the Signet’s truest representation of this statement not to necessarily rest on the idea of extreme experimentation, but more so on its ability to find such divine balance within said experimentation. It’s one thing to throw in one or two curveballs for a new release, but to control that in a way to result in something that can be considered iconic, that is an entirely different level of mastery.
With the Signet, you’re drinking what is surely the richest whisky from Glenmorangie, and it stands out for that, quite rightly so too! This is a no-age-statement release but is by no means a young whisky. Naturally, you’ll never be given the full picture of what makes up the specific mix of casks, but there’s clearly some serious age in here - we’re told this even features some whisky as old as 40 years... that’s from back when malting was still done on-site! This rare addition provides the core of the whisky, and shows Glenmorangie’s commitment to making this one whisky for the history books.
If, like me, you’ve ever laid awake at night pondering the differences between varieties of barley, then your restless nights are soon to be over! The Signet is here to answer the call, and it does so with class - single-site estate grown barley (that’s the Cadboll variety) mixes with the brilliant choice of roasted chocolate malt! It then sees virgin American oak casks, and is non-chill-filtered as well.
The presentation of this whisky really highlights the in-glass experience as well, clean and classy with a richness to the box, the bottle, and the cork. You might think that’s all besides the point, and you could be right, but it just adds another dimension to the overall experience of this iconic whisky.
This is a masterclass in richness & refinement, you’ll detect darker notes through the entirety of the nose and palate, but this isn’t a bungalow of a dram, oh no, there are levels upon levels to this whisky. And I’m more than happy to go slow and take the stairs.
So getting into the actual dram, and the first stop is a nose full of distinctively dark roasted coffee notes covered up in a very bold smack of spices - think toasted cinnamon, nutmeg, and all of those Christmas-sy goodies!
The palate follows this guideline very nicely, as smooth as anything throughout the entire experience. Plenty of those darker flavours coming through with some classic raisins notes to boot, but there’s a brilliant shine of citrus, sugared orange peels, for me, and a background rounding of sweet prunes that bolster the ever-present fresh roasted coffee notes. The finish carries on the story of smoothness, great length to it as well.
And if all of that didn’t quite do it for you, the Signet has amassed a substantial amount of critical acclaim over the years:
- 2016 World Whisky of the Year
- Gold Medal - 2018 International Whisky Competition
- Gold Medal - 2018 International Wine & Spirits Challenge
- Silver Medal - San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2020
- 94 points - Whisky Advocate
- Master Distiller of the Year 2016 - International Whisky Competition