Whisky Advocate

Review: Signatory (Glen Ord), 1998 Vintage

April 12th, 2010

Following up on my Friday post, here’s my review of another cask-strength Signatory whisky.

Signatory (distilled at Glen Ord), 1998 Vintage, 11 year old, Cask #3465, 60.3%, $110
Bright gold color. Big and firm on the palate. Quite fruity too (tangerine, pear, sultana, pineapple), on a dry malty foundation. Lighter notes of grass, hay, linseed oil and dried vanilla add complexity. Dried fruit and malt finish. A really nice dram with gobs of character.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 87

17 Responses to “Review: Signatory (Glen Ord), 1998 Vintage”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    A bourbon drinker on this blog once referred to “drinking the single malt coolaid.” I don’t know what kind of vague defensive thoughts came into the heads of other single malt drinkers when they read this. I imagine that the first thing on many of their minds was their favorite peat monster or sherry bomb. Myself, I would rather taste that bourbon drinker on a whisky like this Glen Ord than on A’Bundah or Laphroaig Cask Strength.

    It’s always nice to see a massive characterful scotch, which is not sherried, peated, finished, or the recipient of any special designer care whatever. This whisky sounds very nice.

  2. John Hansell says:

    You got that right!

  3. Derek says:

    Is this bottling available in the USA?
    If so, I might need to make a trip south of the border. (from Canada)
    I have long thought that Glen Ord is an under-rated and under-appreciated whisky.
    Now that it is only seems to be sold in Asia as official bottlings, it is under-available :-(

    • John Hansell says:

      Yes, it is in circulation here in the U.S.

      • Derek says:

        Any recommendations for good whisky shops in Seattle?

        • MrTH says:

          No! Washington has state-controlled liquor stores, and the selection is terrible. I’d be utterly astonished if you could find anything remotely similar to this there.

          The poor folk of Seattle must content themselves with mind-blowing beer….

        • Henry H. says:

          Derek, MrTH is oh so right, as you probably already know. Yet the prices are often decent, since Washington’s Liquor Control Board is among the largest purchasers of liquor in the country. And the range of distillery bottlings on the shelves has kept this relative newbie tasting and learning for more than a year. (Yes, I’ve cheated down in California a few times in order to begin exploring independent bottlings.)

          In case you haven’t found it, here’s the link for product search on the state’s web site:
          http://liq.wa.gov/services/brandsearch.asp
          It seems to work pretty well, though it’s not updated nearly often enough. So, do follow the advice posted there and call the store before you go. The 4th Ave South and 12th & Pine stores are fine places to browse, as they probably do the best job of stocking more than the usual suspects. The University Village store is a good bet, too.

  4. Andrea says:

    I like Glen Ord and this really sounds nice…but, 110 dollars for an 11 years old !!!????

  5. AdamH says:

    My little club had the privilege of tasting this malt last week with Signatory’s Ed Kohl. Along with a bunch of other new cask-strength Signatory bottlings, this one was the standout of the night, to our surprise.

    To reiterate John’s and Red’s comments, I think this demonstrates well that a single malt doesn’t need to be a peat monster, sherry monster, or 20+ years old to be a really tasty whisky. The consensus among the guys was that it’s worth the price (in today’s US market at least); I think most of us liked it at least a couple points higher than John did. “Gobs of character” is right on.

    • John Hansell says:

      I’m glad you all liked it too! And I’m also happy to know that you don’t think I’m over-inflating my ratings. :)

    • Steffen Bräuner says:

      Well, You’re spot on Adam. Personally my favourites are a nonpeated, nonsherried whisky, from an excellent cask. And it doesnt have to be 20+ (but it doesn’t hurt either). The Old Pulteney WK499 is a brilliant example of this for me and it’s a NAS

      /Macdeffe

  6. MrTH says:

    You can count me in, also, as someone who actually likes the taste of whisky.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      Of course, while bourbon casked scotch does seem more elemental, unparalleled variety is also one of the great defining characteristics of scotch. While bourbon casked may be my favorite, it’s followed closely by wine casked, and of course there’s never anything wrong with peat.

  7. Texas says:

    Spec’s here in Houston has a sister to this whisky..Signatory 1998 Glen Ord with no color and I think no chill-filter bottled at 43% for $50. I have yet to find anyone else who has had it. It is very similar to what John describes here. Very tasty and clean whisky.

  8. Doug Watts says:

    For any Glen Ord fans out there, Bladnoch has just released a single cask 20 year old Glen Ord. It’s less than £40 a bottle too. Great value, even taking into account the shipping as most of you guys are across the pond.

    http://www.bladnoch.co.uk/acatalog/

  9. [...] (and then describes what he means by his description of a bit moody in the comments),  and a Glen Ord from 1998 to which he awards an 87 and describes as a really nice dram with gobs of [...]

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