Signatory Vintage, Ardmore 2009, Vine & Table selection

Bottler: Signatory, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland, UK

Region: Highlands

Style: Peated single malt whisky.

Age: 8 y/o

Notes: Distilled: 10/22/09, bottled: 7/17/18, bourbon barrel cask, cask #706320, bottle 117/247.

ABV: 59.2% (cask strength).

Price: $94 (Vine and Table exclusive)

Appearance: Light straw.

Nose: Smoky peat, alcohol, sweet malt. With water: Still potent. Tobacco smoke, baked pie crust.

Palate: Full-bodied. Butterscotch, ash, burn. With water: sweeter and creamier. Vanilla icing, smoky dark chocolate.

Finish: Peaty and dry. With water: tamer, but still peaty.

Parting words: I bought this Scotch last year when I was in Indianapolis visiting family. I was looking for a sweet, creamy single malt to sit alongside a smoky one I had open already. This 8 y/o Ardmore was not that, but that’s been more than ok!

I wouldn’t call this Ardmore balanced, but it does have more going on than just peat smoke. There’s a creamy, desserty background to it that comes out with a healthy splash of water.

If I had paid $60 or $70 for this, I would be happy and it would earn a full recommendation. For $94, I expect more, though. More age, more complexity, something more than this.

Signatory Vintage, Ardmore 2009, Vine & Table selection is mildly recommended.

Signatory Vintage Glenlossie 2009, Un-Chillfiltered Collection. Vine & Table selection.

Bottler: Signatory, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland, UK (Symington)

Distiller: Glenlossie, Elgin, Moray, Scotland, UK (Diageo)

Region: Speyside.

Style: Single Cask, cask strength, unpeated, single malt Scotch whisky.

Cask: 3376

Age: 11 y/o (distilled April 2009, bottled July 2020).

ABV: 53.2%

Purchased for $100.

Appearance: Medium pale straw.

Nose: Dusty oak, apricot, orange cream hard candy.

Palate: Medium full body. Creamy with mandarin orange, then big burn. Milder with water, but still creamy and fruity.

Finish: Malty and fresh with a little stone fruit.

Parting words: Glenlossie is one of the few twin distilleries left in Scotland. Its sibling is Mannochmore, which flies even farther under the Radar than ‘Lossie does. Both are owned by Diageo and are used more for blending than bottling as single malts, though the occasional independent bottling, like this one, does crop up from time to time.

I’m very glad this one did crop up. I wouldn’t characterize it as complex, but what it does, it does very well. Even at eleven years old, this is an elegant example of unpeated Speyside malt. Once the high ABV is tamed, there’s no rough edges to be found anywhere. Just highly polished sweet malt and fruit.

$100 is above my usual price range, but I don’t regret the purchase at all. When one factors in the cask strength, and skill that went into selecting this whisky, $100 is a fair price. Not a bargain, mind you, but fair. I’m really glad I picked this bottle up. Signatory Vintage Glenlossie 2009, Un-Chillfiltered Collection. (Vine & Table selection) is recommended.

Signatory Vintage: Mortlach 1992

Maker: Mortlach, Dufftown, Banffshire, Scotland (Owned by Diageo, Bottled by Signatory)

Region: Highland- Speyside (Dufftown)

Age: 17 y/o (distilled 3/6/92, bottled 8/5/09)

ABV: 43%

Appearance: Light gold (natural color). Thick, heavy legs.

Nose: Oak, alcohol, a bit of citrus.

On the palate: a surprising hit of heat, otherwise mild and creamy, with a lot of body. This is a heavyweight Speysider. A touch of honey is also present and it dovetails nicely with the bitter notes from the wood.

Finish: Heat at first, then after the burn, the oak comes in very pleasant but still assertive way. Very nice finish. It’s a delicate balance of burn, wood, honeyed sweetness, and maybe the faintest hint of smoke.

Parting words: Another excellent bottling from Signatory. While it’s certainly good in the nose and on the palate, it’s unremarkable except for its weight. The finish alone is worth the price of admission. Simply beautiful.