Five Sherried Signatory Vintage Single casks

As a new batch of Signatory Vintage expressions made its way to the Holy land**, we held a Zoom tasting as part of our Holy Dram whisky club and Facebook group (hebrew). We chose 5 drams, and as it turns out, all of them are either fully matured in sherry (four of them) or sherry finished (one). Be it first fill, Refill or finish, a Sherried theme evening is something to enjoy even at this time of year when summer is in full swing in our neck of the woods.

We started with a 2007 Deanston, aged for 12 years in a first fill Sherry Butt and bottled at a hefty 64.5%

Deanston 2007 , cask #900142 , 64.5% , ~€90

Nose:  A bit wild on the get-go, and some water is needed then quite sweet and reminds me of mornings in a cafe patisserie: lots of Cinnamon pastries come chocolate and hints of red fruit, berries, strawberries, and a nice citrus note as well.
Palate: Spiced oat and raisin cookie, with cooked plum and dark chocolate.
Finish: Pepper, oak, chocolate.

Summing it up : A nice start to the evening, although this was not the best Deanston I’ve had, to say the least. I think this one would be more accessible at 50’s something abv, but you can decide for yourself as you dilute it with a pipette.

Score: 84/100

Dram #2 was very different: a GlenAllachie 2007 as well, at the same age of 12 years, and yet another Sherry Butt at 64.2% – still quite fierce.

GlenAllachie 2007 cask # 900509 , 64.2% , ~€ 89

Nose: Sweet and toffeed with some orange zest, orange marmalade, and quite a lot of sweet sherry influence, with the occasional dried fruit.

Palate: More of the same with a lot of vanilla and wine influence, quite sweet and citrusy, not over complex some spices, and dark chocolate bonbons.

Finish : wood, zest, cocoa.

Summing it up :: I am not a big fan of GlenAllachie, and this cask did not change my mind..

Score: 84/100

Whisky #3 was a Linkwood, aged in ex-bourbon for most of its life (12 year) and then finished for 4 months in a 1st fill sherry cask… Although this was only a finish, it felt much more sherried than the previus two which were fully matured in first fill sherry. Go figure (a very active cask indeed!)…

Linkwood 2006, cask #2 58.4% , ~€ 100

Nose: Quite a lot of Orange marmalade and sherry with wood spices : mainly clove then some citrus fruit, and a very distinct Basil leaf note as well. Big sherried mama.
Palate: Big sherry again, in your face sort of, not something that I would expect from a Linkwood. the sherry finish easily overcomes the Linkwood distillate. There’s a lot of oak here as well, a spicy edge, and lots of sherry.
Finish: Sherry, dried fruit, candied orange and orange marmalade, chocolate. This is a Linkwood you say?

Summing it up :: This ain’t bad stuff, but it ain’t Linkwood. The sherry finish was too powerful IMHO.

Score: 86/100

We arrive at whisky #4 in our tasting: time to kick in some smoke (or maybe not, this is a Bunna after all – the unpeated Islay – not a stoisha, or Moine). This wee monster comes at a whopping 68.5 % abv; yes – SIXTY-EIGHT-POINT-FIVE. Aged for a full term in 1st fill Sherry Butt, once more.

Bunnahabhain 2009 , cask# 900075 , 68.5% , € 107

Nose:  Ok, this is not a peated Bunna – but it’s good stuff ; We’re starting with some Caramel and vanilla, A bit coastal (sea spray, pebbles) then it gets fruitier with orchard fruit (apricot, peach), dried fruit and sherry goodness,

Palate: Although it’s almost 70% abv, It is surprising how drinkable this is: Classic sherry notes of chocolate, dried fruit, and some fig, some wood tannings orange marmalade and maybe some orange sponge cake.

Finish: Very nice extension of the palate, dry wood, and more of the wine tannins, a bit bitter maybe.

Summing it up : A miracle how good this stuff is even without water.

Score: 88/100

OK, so we’ve arrived to the last, but not the least.. A Ledaig. some Real smoke, and this one’s pretry damn good. 12 years, in sherry but this time a refill cask, bottled at 59.8% abv…

Ledaig 2007 , cask # 700555 , 59.8 % , € 101

Nose: OK , this is Ledaig alright, with the burnt tires/rubber, some dirty notes, quite farmy (loving it), peated and reeky (but not medicinal), a nice sweet smoked meat in the marinade as well, the sherry works very very well with the peaty , rough notes of the liquid.

Palate: More peated and earthy notes, some sweet meaty notes as well, glazing, soot, more burnt tires, ash – the works.

Finish : sweet meats on coal fire, distant wood-fire and sweet dried fruit.

Summing it up: The best of the bunch by far. What a delightful dram this is, It’s right on the money! {Btw: It was the favorite of the group as well.}

Score: 89/100

Conclusion: A nice array of whiskies showing ‘sherry’ maturation can vary greatly. Love the Bunna and Ledaig, by far. The linkwood is good fun, but not a true Linkwood character if you’re a fan of the linkwood style… I was a bit underwhelmed by the Deanston and GlenAllachie, but that’s how things are with single casks, you can never know… Good to have a quality bottler like Signatory in Israel.

Thanks all for attending. I had a lovely time. more zoom tasting to come, i suspect… #fuckCorona


** if you’re an Israeli, check out those on the Sipil site locally (some are already sold out)

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