Glenmorangie Signet

Glenmorangie Signet

Glenmorangie is a whisky distillery located near Tain, in the Ross-shire region of Scotland (Northern Highlands). It was founded in 1843 by William Matheson, who bought a license to produce whisky and installed two second-hand gin stills at the Morangie farm. The distillery was named after the farm and the name Glenmorangie was registered as a trademark. It is famous for its tall neck stills, the tallest in Scotland. The distillery loves to experiment with their whisky and by the past they’ve played around with yeast, malt and wood, and even built an experimental distillery last year to experiment even more. The Glenmorangie Distillery has become one of the top five most popular Scotch whisky distilleries in the world. Glenmorangie Signet, even though being part of the core range, is still linked to those experiments as we are going to see.

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Glenturret 1965 Cadenhead's

Glenturret 1965 Cadenhead’s (1990)

Whisky hoarding is a popular practice among enthusiasts who enjoy collecting rare and unique bottles, or just swapping and buying a significant number of bottles and samples. However, this practice comes with its own set of risks, including the possibility that some bottles may never be tasted and could be lost to evaporation. Unfortunately, I recently experienced this firsthand. I have hundreds of samples and minis waiting for me, but when I recently reached for a Loch Lomond (Rhosdhu) bottled by Cadenhead in 1994, I found that the fill level was low (probably just 1.5 cl left out of the initial five), and the whisky was flat and bland, the alcohol gone, evaporated. To avoid this happening again, I checked what other similar era minis I had, and that’s when I remembered this 1965 Glenturret, bottled in 1990 by Cadenhead’s, and still with a reasonable fill level (but already down to about 4 cl)…

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Bimber Collection Antipodes

Bimber Collection Antipodes Unpeated & Peated.

I was hoping to try the brand new Bimber bottlings for La Maison Du Whisky at Whisky Live Paris back in October, especially since the Bimber booth was really close to Dingle’s, where I was working once again. Regrettably, LMDW had reserved them for their exclusive stand in the VIP section, and my schedule didn’t allow me to visit. Therefore, from the coziness of my whisky room, let’s explore a couple of Bimber single casks bottled last year specifically for LMDW’s Antipodes collection.

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That Boutique-y Whisky Company's core range

That Boutique-y Whisky Core Range

That Boutique-y Whisky Company has gained fame for its extensive collection of independent bottlings released since 2013, and at this date a total of 883 of them have been documented on WhiskyBase. Recently, the company expanded its repertoire by introducing its first five core range expressions, effectively extending this impressive list. Additionally, there is a sixth core release in the form of their World Whisky Blend, which we have previously reviewed and will omit from this discussion. Instead, let’s focus on examining the remaining five releases from That Boutique-y Whisky’s core range.

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Armorik 2002 21-year-old

Armorik 21-Year-Old Single Bottle

Indeed, just a solitary bottle, or one might even liken it to a (small) demijohn, as described by Warenghem Distillery. Finespirits Auction and LMDW have launched a special spirits auction in support of Fondation GoodPlanet. This remarkable auction kicked off during Whisky Live Paris and is set to run until November 3, 2023. An exceptional item up for bidding is a distinctive bottle or demijohn from the Warenghem Distillery, boasting their most extended age statement to date: a single 2-litre bottle of Armorik 21-Year-Old.

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Celtic Whisky Distillerie

A Visit of Celtic Whisky Distillerie

In the heart of the rolling emerald hills, on the Goëlo Coast and nestled among the whispers of ancient legends, lies a well-guarded secret waiting to be unveiled: the Celtic Whisky Distillerie. This elusive gem has long been off-limits to the curious gazes of enthusiasts and aficionados. Yet, on a fortunate day, thanks to our local SMWS Ambassador Clément, a select few were granted the extraordinary opportunity to step behind the closed doors of this establishment known for its Glann Ar Mor and Kornog whiskies, embarking on a rare odyssey into the world of craftsmanship and unparalleled spirits. So join us as we recount this exclusive escapade, delving into the history and the intricate processes that define Celtic Whisky Distillerie.

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Armorik Maitre de Chai 2023

Armorik Maître de Chai (2023)

In 2014, Warenghem Distillery introduced the inaugural edition of Armorik Maître de Chai. Typically, this expression involved blending two oloroso sherry butts, resulting in a limited production of approximately 1800 to 2000 bottles, all bottled at 46% ABV. I have a distinct memory of tasting one of these editions a few years ago, although the precise bottling year eludes me. It happened during a vertical tasting of Armorik whiskies at a whisky store in Rennes, a place that, sadly, no longer exists. This Maître de Chai expression continued its run until 2017. Following that, there was a notable absence of any new Maître de Chai releases. Fast forward to 2023, and Warenghem has unveiled a fresh iteration of Armorik Maître de Chai. However, the only thing this new version shares with its predecessors is the name; the recipe has undergone a significant transformation, as we’re going to see…

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Two Port Ellen and Coldorak in front of Port Ellen Distillery

Port Ellen 7th & 12th Release

Port Ellen distillery, located on the southern coast of the Isle of Islay in Scotland, is a renowned name in the world of Scotch whisky. Established in 1824 by Alexander Ker Mackay, the distillery gained prominence for its distinctive single malt whiskies. Situated in the village of Port Ellen, the distillery operated for nearly 160 years before closing its doors in 1983. Despite its closure, Port Ellen whiskies continue to be highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors due to their complex flavours, limited availability and the hype generated by very good reviews from a few famous whisky blogs. The distillery’s iconic whitewashed buildings and traditional pagoda roof are emblematic of Scotland’s whisky-making heritage. Despite being silent for 40 years, the distillery is being resurrected, as I could see in July with construction still being done, and a beautiful looking still room almost ready to produce whisky again. Whilst it will be years before we can try the ‘new generation’ Port Ellen whisky, let’s try two Special Releases both distilled in 1979: the Port Ellen 7th and 12th Release. We reviewed two different Port Ellen (including a 1979) before on these pages, with different results, so let’s see how those 1979 do.

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Caol Ila 22 & 24-year-old

Caol Ila 22 and 24-year-old

In the east of Scotland’s famous peated whisky-producing region’s lies a distillery that has long been revered for its commitment to crafting exceptional Scotch whisky – Caol Ila. Nestled on the rugged shores of the Isle of Islay near Port Askaig, one of the two ferry terminals bringing thousands of visitors to Islay every year, this iconic distillery has been a beacon of peaty excellence for close to two centuries. Close, but not quite two full centuries have passed since our exploration, as we try a 24-year-old whisky released in 2021 in commemoration of their 175th Anniversary. We’ll compare it to the 22-year-old released for Fèis Ìle Festival in 2019.

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Old Rhosdhu 1990 Les Grands Alambics

Old Rhosdhu 1990 Les Grands Alambics (2020)

Following the Secret Speyside 1994, another bottling from Les Grands Alambics found its way to our glass – an Old Rhosdhu 1990. Back in the ’70s through the ’90s, Old Rhosdhu was distilled using their straight-neck pot stills (for further insights, refer to our review of a Croftengea, also bottled by LGA). It’s worth noting that Rhosdhu presently denotes their single grain whisky range, a departure from its historical identity. However, for now, let’s return to the 1990s with this Old Rhosdhu 1990.

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