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Review: Signatory (Port Ellen), 1982 Vintage

April 9th, 2010

Signatory (distilled at Port Ellen), 1982 vintage, 26 year old, (Cask # 1202), 54.1%, $275
Port Ellen, for sure! Very old-fashioned in nature: intertwined notes of tarry rope, coal soot, rooty peat, toffee, dark chocolate, and walnuts, spiked with coffee bean, anise, cracked peppercorn, and a hint of ginger. Dry, smoky, long, slightly austere finish. This Port Ellen is a bit moody (maybe even has an attitude problem), but I’m not complaining.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 90

18 Responses to “Review: Signatory (Port Ellen), 1982 Vintage”

  1. CurtisCooley says:

    I’ve been drinking scotch for over 15 years, but I’ve still never learned to ‘taste’ it. I never taste any of those things you’ve mentioned.

    Except in Macallan 12, but what I taste I can only refer to as “rubber ducky”.

    • Josh West says:

      Try adding a little water to your scotch; no ice. Opens most drams up enough to taste whats mentioned in reviews. Additionally, make sure to keep the sip in your mouth for a few seconds and almost “chew” it around.

      • CurtisCooley says:

        Thanks, Josh. My current tasting/drinking style is to add just enough water until the acetone goes away. I do have tasting glasses, so I get a good nose, but I’ll chew the whisk(e)y more next time.

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    I believe I tasted this a month or two ago. I remember it was really nice, but I felt that at that price it was probably going to get overshadowed by the official releases– at least for a while…

  3. Mark says:

    Looks like you poured enough for a contemplative tasting. ;)

    I have yet to have a Port Ellen that wasn’t impressive.

    John, I want not to be presumptuous or indicate any kind of critique that I’m not actually making at all. I’m genuinely curious and want to further understand. Would you explicate just a little what you mean by “a bit moody (maybe even has an attitude problem).” Does it maybe have to do with aggressive alcohol at 54.1%? Does it open slowly? Just wondering

    • John Hansell says:

      Yes, as you can see by the dent in the bottle, I have certainly had enough over a few evenings to do a review. What I mean by moody is that it’s not even-keeled, and it’s not a smooth ride. It’s personality changes from the beginning to the finish, but I enjoyed this.

  4. JB says:

    Hm…I suppose this is the same cask as the other Signatory ’82…that one’s a 24 year old.

    • MrTH says:

      I should think not–can’t believe they’d bottle part of a cask and save the rest (still in the cask!) for two years. Sig seems to have a few of these. I note that LFW and RMW have an ’83 available just now.

  5. B.;J. Reed says:

    Got to taste this at Edradour – pricey maybe but worth every dime…or quid :)

  6. Where can I pick up a bottle of this malt?

  7. Alex says:

    Just finished my Scott’s Selection PE 1983 – bottled 1997. Will miss this distillery when I can no longer afford the bottlings…which is about now.

  8. Chef! says:

    There was a point in my life where I was looking and could afford to try nice bottle from Port Ellen… those days are long gone for me. As the days pass my window of actually trying a dram gets smaller and smaller. :(

  9. [...] suggesting it as an after meal drink, and giving it an 85.  He also tries two Signatories: a Port Ellen from 1982 to which he awards a 90 and describes as a bit moody (and then describes what he means by his [...]

  10. mongo says:

    folks: any comments on the scott’s port ellen 1982 (56.5%)? i’ve seen it in my area for $175.

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