In his recent guest post, Shai called Glenmorangie Signet ‘his favorite whisky he likes to drink, but not buy’. I found that a curious statement, but it got me thinking about it.
When Signet came out, I guess about a decade ago, Glenmorangie was in uncharted waters with premium NAS whisky. Back then, age statements were the norm and when a NAS whisky came out, it was (almost) always the bottom shelf variant of a well known distillery. Bowmore Legend versus their 12 year old, for example.
Then this came out and it generously crossed the 100 euro threshold. There were all kinds of explanations for it. The meticulous blending, the use of low yielding chocolate malt. All kinds of excuses for the high price.
Of course, it sort of opened the flood gates, since Signet was rather successful. I got to try it once at some festival and wasn’t unimpressed, but not swayed to buy a bottle either. Then it popped up in one of the bottle-share clubs I’m in and I bought a sample. That sample sat on my shelf until this summer, since I still couldn’t really be bothered to try it.
Now I did. I sat down for it and tried a glass or two.
I wasn’t swayed before, and I am not now. It’s a very drinkable whisky, which might have some higher production cost, but I don’t really think that warrants the price it’s at. Simply put: It’s a rather regular whisky trying to impersonate a 20 year old single cask. And it’s just not that. No matter how fancy the bottle it comes in.
Smooth and sweet, and rather classical. Hints of espresso and dark chocolate. Not too much wood, but the oakiness is not insignificant. Somehow, and this is not relevant for a lot of you, it smells like De Whiskykoning’s tasting room.
Sharper on the palate than expected. Lots of oak with some malty sweetness. Again, some dark chocolate and espresso, so some roasted flavors (because of the chocolate malt, I guess).
A rather quick finish that lingers on oak and some roasted flavors. More malty and toasted wood than anything else.
It’s a bit weird, because normally, if I am not entirely enthusiastic about a whisky that 150 bucks, I mention (or at least think of) an alternative, but in this case I can’t really. Still, I am not convinced this is a whisky that should cost more than 75 euros, and even then I’d consider it to be stretching it’s value for money balance. At twice that, it’s ridiculous.
Glenmorangie Signet, 46%, regularly available for about 150 euros (cheaper in Germany)