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Glenmorangie Signet

Singular Signet

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@vanPeltReview by @vanPelt

10th May 2013


Glenmorangie Signet
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose: One of the pleasures is the numerous changes with successive sniffs. Off a fresh pour, the very first impression is sweet dark syrup. This quickly progresses to the most pleasurable and unique scent of the experience-- it is like holding a milk chocolate (not dark) square up to your nose; and perhaps you can discern that the square is filled with soft vanilla cream. Inhaling a little more brings malty grains to the sweetness: densely moist freshly baked honey bread (or Hawaiian bread). At this point, you might pick out faint banana bread too. Later, dates become more prominent, and if you look behind this, you might get faint beer aroma: is this the stout? Faster sniffing brings tingling spices, especially the first minutes after pouring: first nutmeg, then ginger, and then clove and allspice. If you over-breathe (faster than the sweet vapors can replenish), then you can get down to a minty/zesty/pine smell-- this is what I believe some have called aftershave. (This is otherwise not a dominant part of the nose character.) To simplify all this, the best defining character is: milk-chocolate with vanilla, dried date flesh, and allspice.

Palate: First contact is sour-bitter green apple skins, but this is quenched immediately in the mouth to the smoother bitterness of nutmeg. Then the nutmeg is further rounded by the smoothness of vanilla, and these two make the dominant theme-- they coat the mouth together like a latte, with a unique and pleasing creamy texture. Further development brings thickness and subtler flavors, rather like melted milk chocolate, which lasts until the finish.

Finish: From milk-chocolate, back to nutmeg/vanilla; a slight alcoholic burn tells you the latte was a tad too hot. Then the smoothening component seems to come from tobacco rather than vanilla, while other sources of bitterness play: almond skins and citrus zest. Nutmeg persists.

I gave a long interim following my first taste, because it was initially a letdown based on differing expectations; apparently when other people refer to "chocolate", they must mean the milk type, whereas I imagined it dark. (So far, I have only found that in the Bowmore 15 Darkest.) The Signet has to be appreciated for what it is: It provides new and subtle aromas for exploration, it makes bitter spices smooth while imparting a thick/chewy/creamy mouth-feel, and yes it evokes creamy milk chocolate. But this lily is obviously gilded; so you need to be in a mood to slow down and appreciate it.

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