Friday, October 21, 2005

Uisge Bheatha

After a bad-weather, bad-traffic commute home (although I made it for the end of bathtime), I'm settling in for a nice tipple and enjoying the last of a Signatory 1998 Single Orkney Malt.

Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co. Ltd. is interesting in that they are a bottler, not a distiller*. They go round and buy up casks of spirit from distillers and then bottle it in their own way, often making for a different product than what the distiller yields.

This one next to me is bottle number 197 from casks numbers 164 and 165, distilled on 25 January 1988 at Scapa Distillery in Orkney and bottled at 86 proof after being "aged in oak wood not less that 9 years." It's fairly light, especially considering it's from the Islands and while there is a bit of the traditional Scapa peat to the taste, it's really mild. The one review of the Signatory bottling I found wasn't too complimentary; the Gordon & MacPhail bottling for the same year sounds a bit more expressive. My own impression of it lies somewhere between Serge's and Doug McIvor's (although McIvor wasn't tasting the Signatory). It's very drinkable and enjoyable, but it's not a top-rated whisky either ...

And thus ends tonight's delving into whisky criticism ... plus Evelin want's to go comment on Tiffanni's Golden Coiffure Awards.

* Actually, that's not quite right anymore. In 2002, just a few months before we visited, although I wouldn't claim a connection, Signatory acquired Erdadour, the wee-est (legal) distillery in Scotland.

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