Reviewed by FWL Contributing Editor Uncle Knucklehead
Way up in the northern Highlands of Scotland, in the village of Tain, is the Glenmorangie Distillery. It’s quite a beautiful place, atop a hill overlooking the Dornoch Firth, a large body of water that empties out into the North Sea, and placed among fields of golden barley, much of it their own type, Cadbol, named for the Pictish ancestors of the land. And it’s here, amid the tall, giraffe-like copper necks of the stills, the humid stone dunnages where countless barrels of whisky lay sleeping, they make a stunning bottle of liquid complexity called Signet.
Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Chief Creator of Whisky, won’t give you all the details, some of it is shrouded in secret. But it’s the combination of sherry oak and ex-bourbon barrels; the unique high-roasted chocolate malt and the Cadbol malt; some old, old whisky stock; the tears of a virgin and blood of a unicorn. And the light elegant spirit that results from traveling so far up those copper necks.
But it’s the way the unctuous richness of the sherried notes wrap around the light cocoa of the out-breath of smoke. The way the fat, oaky maltiness laces through a solid core of leathery richness on the inhale and the burst of spice and lemon zest lay across the hood of this piston laden engine of smoke that bring me out of the agitation, away from the competitive crap of an eight hour descent into the mundane.