Signatory came up with an excellent game plan: find the best single cask whiskies in Scotland, and package them beautifully. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been very successful.
The range is staggeringly large, with an enormous breadth of whiskies from all sorts of Scotch distilleries; some silent, many still up and running, some grain whiskies and some from the most legendary distilleries in the world!
There are several different Signatory lines, but the jewel in the crown is the Cask Strength Collection. The range consists of natural cask strength whiskies, almost all of which are from single casks. Every time we’ve tried anything from the range we’ve been consistently delighted, so imagine our joy when a set of 5 samples arrived through the letter box!
By the way, the only small grievance we had with the Cask Strength Collection was the colour of the tins (we weren’t so keen on the dull grey colour), so we were thrilled when we saw the new releases, which are stunningly presented in matt black oval tubes, with bronze detailing – very handsome!
Nose: Heady aromas of malt and honeycomb. It’s slightly citrussy too, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.
Palate: A big, tangy palate entry, almost salty at first. This is very fruity, and very malty. Then it creeps in – a hit of creaking dry oak.
Finish: That oak builds and builds into a crescendo of sublime tannins and spice.
Comment: Enormous stuff!
Nose: In a similar sort of vein to the Dufftown, but with a slight chemical taste – perhaps acetone, or another sort of industrial cleanser (not unpleasant here, though) and then more than a hint of pine.
Palate: Sweet flavours, and then something curious – it tastes almost like the scent of bluebells. Then malt, and tangy lemon pith.
Finish: Some oak (as the Dufftown), but the tannins cling more to the lemon pith bitterness, than to oak, a hint of black olive too.
Nose: Caramel and cinder toffee, right off the bat. Then other notes develop, like pine, red berries and a wine-like note.
Palate: Sweet palate entry and mouthfeel, with more of those red berries. Very thick, and sherried but without a hint of sulphur. A floral, fruity wine note, Fleurie perhaps?
Finish: Spicy and tannic, becomes dry with berry fruits.
Nose: The initial aroma is exactly like the wood they make ice cream sticks out of, remarkable! Then flapjacks, and lots of them.
Palate: Hoisin sauce, just Hoisin sauce. Very interesting.
Finish: It continues on Hoisin, also tangy, and full.
Comment: A fascinating dram, incredible character.
Nose: Lemon and buttery shortbread, quite coastal too. Surprisingly there’s only a hint of smoke.
Palate: Dry slabs of lemony peat, sweetens up after a time.
Long: Tangy, classic Port Ellen
Comment: Just tastes like classic Port Ellen, not much else –however, it just so happens that Port Ellen is one of the most delicious flavours in the world!
– The Chaps at Master of Malt –