The First Single Malt Whisky Ever to Use High Roast ‘Chocolate’ Malt Barley Brings Espresso Intensity to the Highland Distillery for One Week Each Year.
For one week each year, the stills at Glenmorangie’s distillery in the Scottish Highlands are dedicated to the creation of spirit for the ground-breaking whisky: Glenmorangie Signet, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018. Created by Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, Glenmorangie Signet was the first single malt to use high roast ‘chocolate malt’ barley in its production and includes some of the distillery’s rarest whiskies matured in bespoke designer casks. Glenmorangie Signet received a Double Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2018 and is recognized as the richest whisky in the Glenmorangie range.
The distillation of Glenmorangie Signet is a rare occasion that takes place for one week every year—Signet Week. For seven days each year, the distillery only produces the ‘chocolate malt’ and halts production on all other whiskies, a highly unusual occurrence in the whisky industry. While the exact secrets of its production are known only to Glenmorangie’s whisky creators, the high-roast ‘chocolate malt’ is tumble-roasted in small quantities, coaxing out a spirit of espresso intensity and is tempered over many years by a judicious marriage of unique cask types. Creaminess comes from specially crafted bourbon barrels, sweetness from sherry butts, and a spicy backbone from unusual virgin charred oak casks; all balanced by some of Glenmorangie’s oldest stocks.
Glenmorangie Signet Tasting Notes (Bottled at 46% ABV; $199.99 U.S. market SRP)
- Color: Deep amber
- Nose: The enticing warmth of coffee, ginger and cinnamon bursts forth, then melts into dark chocolate and tiramisu. Old-fashioned dark toffee emerges, alongside crystallized orange peel, cocoa, crème caramel and rich fruit cake
- Taste: A velvet explosion on the palate swirls crackling spices with bitter mocha, dark chocolate and the mellow softness of apricot and butterscotch. Then a surge of toasted hazelnuts and almonds, paired with praline, vanilla and orange zest
- Finish: An incredible complexity of mocha and spice heralds creamy, cappuccino notes and hints of amaretto, before a finale of chocolate-coated raisins and bitter-sweet orange
- Awards: IWC Whisky of the Year in 2016 and Double Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018
“Glenmorangie has always been known for pushing the boundaries of the taste experience through innovation and Signet is, in many ways, the embodiment of that creative vision. My favorite cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee inspired me to create Signet and it took years of hard work and painstaking attention to detail to bring it to life. We had to forge new ground: to create a spirit that united the ‘chocolate malt’ with Glenmorangie’s signature house malt, to dedicate the stills to that purpose alone for seven days each year, and then to perfect an assemblage from our rarest and most precious whiskies. It remains one of my proudest creations and one I’m delighted to see enjoyed around the world by whisky connoisseurs and newcomers in equal measure.”
– Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks
Tours take place at the Glenmorangie distillery throughout the year, including a special Signet Tour, which includes a sample of Glenmorangie Signet. For more information, and to book a tour, visit Glenmorangie.com.