I have a deep fondness for this range from Signatory. Fantastic value and a brilliant presentation. I wrote about a very nice 13 year old Glenlossie in my first review for Malt, and that was no coincidence. I have also reviewed a superb 13 year old Mortlach and a pretty good 14 year old Highland Park on here previously.
Fans of the core range 10 year old Ben Nevis have been struggling to get their hands on bottles recently, but that looks like changing soon, as the newly rebranded version will hit the shelves soon. You can pre-order from Tyndrum for £50, which appears to be a bit of an increase on the old one, if that is indeed the RRP. A sign of the times, but a shame if that is the case.
Another shame is that aforementioned re-brand. I loved the old school labelling of the previous bottlings, and this new one looks rather plain and boring. I suppose as long as the whisky is still great quality, we can overcome that small issue.
Let’s get on with tasting this 9 year old from Signatory, which has sat in a pair of ex-bourbon barrels from March 2011, until it was bottled in November 2020.
Nose : Sweet and a little salty, with prominent vanilla aromas – melted vanilla ice cream. Orchard fruits, with apple and pears of the sharp and sour variety. There’s barley sugar sweetness and a little salted caramel, along with a doughy, yeasty note and crisp autumnal evening air.
Palate : Sweet and sour, with apple and yuzu the stand out flavours when it first hits the palate. Plenty more of the creamy vanilla and spicy black pepper. It remains creamy as things develop, with some melon and grapefruit. The finish is moderate length and drying, with hazelnut and almond nutiness, ginger spice, oak tannins and salt.
Conclusions : Signatory get it right again with a simple combination of good distillate, and a simple pair of bourbon barrels. The sweet and sour fruit is a great combination. This is a more than decent version of Ben Nevis that will keep any fan happy while they wait for the 10 year old official bottling to become available again.
Score : 7/10
(Score descriptions can be found in the About page)
ABV : 46%
Non-chill filtered : Yes
Natural Colour : Yes
Maturation : Two Bourbon Barrels (157+158) Distilled 4th March 2011, bottled 6th November 2020
Region : Highland
Colour : White Wine