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  1. #1

    Signatory Islay 5 year

    Hello all. I'm new here but not new to Bourbon or Scotch.

    I figured I would post this because this is kind of a nice find for people who like Islay scotches.

    For context: I am an Islay guy, Laphroaig is my usual one but Lagavulin 16 is probably my favorite of all.

    I went to my local liquor store, and they had a range of cheap scotches with very generic labels (ie: Islay, Highland, Campbelltown, etc). They are all branded Signatory, which is a company who specializes in rebottling other scotches. Sometimes good, sometimes not. There was a copied white piece of paper next to this cheap range describing where they come from, because this information is not on the bottle itself.

    Much to my amazement, their Islay 5 year comes from Lagavulin, and it was by far the cheapest one at $13 and change per bottle.

    I'm not going to sugar coat this and say it's the best scotch I've ever had, it's not even close, but at $13 it's definitely the best value I've ever seen on a single malt Islay.

    The nose is almost pure Lagavulin. I'll have to get out my 16 year to be sure, but I know it well and this one should be close.

    The taste is "young". If you're looking for all the tones that Lagavulin has, you're going to be disappointed. But it's definitely in the same territory as Lagavulin 16, just without some of the stuff you get from age.

    I'm going to buy 2 or 3 more bottles if I can get a hold of them.

  2. #2
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    Sounds nice - you should try the "Very young Ardbeg" if you like young Islays. A super sweet intense Islay closely related to its 10YO cousin.

    Cheers,

    B.

  3. #3

    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    I had Ardbeg 17 once and I wasn't thoroughly impressed, but then again I'm not too fond of Laphroaig 15 either... And the 10 is one of my favorites.

    As for the Signatory Islay 5 year, the liquor store got more in (after my friends and I bought them out), and now it's $24.75 instead of $13 and change. They figured that one out. Still a good deal for a single malt, but when Laphroaig 10 is around $40, a 5 year is a tough sell.

  4. #4
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    That's more like the price we pay for it in the UK. BTW Ardbeg 17 is a very different Ardbeg. Some would say subtle but I would say thin. The 10YO and 6YO are very different Islays - powerful in the extreme. If you've not tried them, and you like Laphroaig 10YO, you should give them a go.

  5. #5
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    The Signatory "Vintage [X]" line can be a good source of cheap malts, and in many cases the source can be easily identified. "Vintage Highland" may be tough to pin down, but they also offer "Vintage Orkney", "Vintage Mull", "Vintage Campbeltown", and "Vintage Lowland"; in each case the whisky must come from one of a small number of distilleries. I got a pretty good 10-year-old Glen Scotia bottled as "Vintage Campbeltown" and a 9-year-old Littlemill as "Vintage Lowland". The Vintage Orkney must be from either Highland Park or Scapa, either of which would be pretty good. The Vintage Mull, obviously from Tobermory, was not bad.

  6. #6
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    I recently did some whiskey shopping and I picked up a bottle of Signatory Vintage Islay (5yr). I noticed something interesting: the bottles at Sam's were all at 80 proof, but the bottle I got at Binny's was (according to the label) bottled at cask strength, 116 proof or some such thing.

    When the clerk went to ring it up, it wouldn't scan. I wonder if someone accidentally put the special cask strength version on the shelf where the 80-proof is supposed to go? In any event, it should make for interesting tasting.

  7. #7
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    Tell me what you think, because I've been pondering a bottle of that for a while.

    Don't want to make you jealous but I have a 5YO Isle of Jura on order, which is a special release and is apparently the peatiest whisky ever ! (available at thewhiskyexchange.com). They initially produced it to blend, with the normally feeble Jura to put it contention, with the more robust Islays but have bottled some of this concentrate uncut (120 proof) and young.

    I'm going to put in a shoot out with GTS 2003, with the winner being me

  8. #8
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    Well, I don't want to make you jealous, but some pals and I have purchased an Octomore case future from Bruichladdich, but the whisky was only distilled two years ago and they don't anticipate bottling it until it is at least eight years old. But they are currently selling futures, at 250 UK pounds per case; i.e., you pay now and then when they bottle it, you can come pick it up, or have it shipped to a Bruichladdich seller near you.

    Octomore is a whisky distilled by Bruichladdich from malt specially kilned to be the peatiest possible. The distillate showed phenol levels around 80 ppm; all the smokiest Islays made nowadays are around 40 give or take a bit. During a tour last year (and they do a great tour; if you make it to Islay don't miss it) I got to nose some of the distillate, and it was certainly interesting. It will make a great conversation piece, even if it's not ultimately great whisky---but if their other products are any guide it stands a good chance of success.

    However, your Jura will arrive much sooner, and sounds very good. Is this different from "Superstition", which has of late appeared at some stores? If you are talking about Superstition, I will get some right away!

    Chuck K.

  9. #9
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    Wow - that Bruichladdich sounds fantastic. Especially off the back of it (Bruichladdich) being such a fine malt. I've been enjoying their 15YO over the last few weeks and it really is a classy drink. They adhere to good Bourbon principles - high proof, no colouring and no filtering.

    With regards the Jura - it's actually a special release exclusive to thewhiskyexchange.com. Jura ran their stills for a week using this heavily peated barley and it is this which is added to the normally feeble Jura to produce the peated version of the Superstition for the Japanese (and American ?) market. That being said its 'only' 60ppm.

    Are these futures still available at Bruichladdich ? Because I would certainly be interested in that myself

  10. #10
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    Re: Signatory Islay 5 year

    Tried some here are my notes:

    Colour: Strong green tea, unusual

    Nose: POWERFUL: Ardbeg style peatiness, Fresh malt,
    white pepper, hint of licorice.

    Taste: VERY AGGRESSIVE: Iodine, burnt wood, Peat, sherry (not much), sweet malt, golden syrup, bicycle inner tubes, intense pepperiness. Slightly reminiscent of Laproaig 10YO CS but pretty unique and much more powerful.

    Finish: Hot, Warming, spice, smokey.

    Very unique, very powerful and very interesting ....but unlike the Young Ardbeg, which I think is great just as it is, this needs more time in the wood.

    Will try it with water at some point !

    BTW - the local whisky commission would not allow me to match it with GTS as it was such an obvious mismatch. Against Very Young Ardbeg I'd say lose by KO in 5

 

 

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