Bill Dowd photoThere are many interesting characters in the Scotch whisky industry, but Dr. Bill Lumsden's infectious enthusiasms for experimentation with woods and blends sets him apart. I was privileged to get an advance sampling of his newest creation which will be introduced to the market in October.
• Glenmorangie Signet
I usually like to build my case for making a "good" or "bad" judgement step by step. I'll dispense with it here to immediately declare that anyone who does not find Signet a brilliant product should have her/his taste buds removed. They're obviously out of order.
Lumsden, head of distilling and whisky creation for Glenmorangie, has been tinkering with this expression for about a decade, according to his associates. He has married barley grown on the Glemorangie land with a chocolate malt as well as maturing various whiskies used in the blending in a variety of woods. Precise ingredients are being kept vague for competitive reasons.
The deeper flavors of tobacco, leather and chocolate are key factors in the richness of taste. But Signet doesn't stop there. I detected fleeting notes of sherry and orange zest in the nose, followed on the palate by pineapple, green apple ... even a bit of honey and maple.
This is a very complex creation. Lumsden uses the word "voluptuous." I concur.
Suggested retail price: $185 for the 750ml bottle.
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