1995 Imperial single cask # 50145, bottled by Signatory


Region – Speyside – 46% ABV – still available here and there for around $80-85

Imperial cask 50145 SignatoryImperial distillery – dismantled then destroyed, and now, in 2015, resurrected as the Dalmunach distillery.

Sadly, they’re not trying to replicate what Imperial produced at this new distillery.  Still, it’ll be exciting to see what Dalmunach produces.

While not my favorite whisky producer in the world, when I’m out and about looking for indy bottlings of whisky, Imperial is the number one distillery I seek out.  Like Springbank, Imperial has a style that is all its own, and completely unmistakable: Mineral-like, flinty, sometimes a bit chalky, and nearly always rich (be it ex-bourbon matured, ex-sherry matured or otherwise).

What does this one taste like?  Funny you should ask…

Signatory Imperial Cask 50145On the nose — Marzipan soaking in salted water.  Lemongrass  infused honey. All these things are sitting in the center of a dry granite quarry with dust in the wind.

Pocket change, and somehow the smell of the taste of a copper penny in your mouth.

Sugar-free apple sauce.

On the mouth  Wait, I shall now begin calling this category “In the mouth” because A) you put whisky IN your mouth, not ON it, and B) those that dig innuendos can think of this line as a sophomoric dick joke.

In the mouth (teehee) —  Man, this does not disappoint.  It’s that rich, meets minerality, meets chalkiness I described above.

Elderflower liquor minus the added sweetness.

(“Minus the added.” I like that. Consider it ™’d.)

Signatory Imperial Cask 50145A rich, oily mouthfeel is complimented by notes of cream soda (a slight fizziness on the tongue helps support this note) and melting Bit-O-Honey™.

Signatory Imperial Cask 50145Finish — Medium-ish.  There’s a nice peppery-spice left on the back of the tongue and the granite dust slowly fades away, forcing you to take another sip.

In sum — This is a cracking little Imperial, to be sure.  Even at 46%, it’s got great life to it and is satisfying. I still think indy bottlers should bottle always bottle at full cask strength, giving the consumer the choice to dilute.

Signatory Imperial Cask 50145Still, one of the brands my company imports (Chieftain’s Range) releases some whisky at 46% so…throwing first stones and all… (was it Jesus or Billy Joel who said that)?

It’s a fine Imperial. I’d personally buy another bottle if I saw it on the shelf…

Exclusive Malts 28yo Longmorn, 1985, 51.6%


Region – Speyside – 51.6% ABV – $200-285 (if you’re lucky enough to find a bottle)

Exclusive Malts Longmorn 1985 28 year oldOk. Full disclosure. By day I work for the US importer of The Exclusive Malts line of independently bottled whisky, ImpEx Beverages.

Full disclosure pt.2. This whisky is no longer available, and was actually imported well before I started my position with ImpEx.

Being that I don’t actually score whisky but instead just present tasting notes and general impressions (and occasional dick jokes), I figured it’s kosher for me give you said tasting notes and general impressions on this release.

What is “Exclusive Malts?” It’s a line of single cask whiskies bottled by David Stirk of Creative Whisky Company.  The line is fairly new to the US market.

So, there you go.  Truthfulness. Information. And below? Tasting notes:

Longmorn Exclusive Malts 1985 28 years oldOn the nose — Honey, honey honey smoked honey! Caramels covered by orange oil rubbed cigar wrappers.

There’s a flinty minerality to this whisky that seems to enter my nose in the form of light peat (perhaps wood effect?).  Crushed chardonnay grapes sans the sweetness.

Aged (read: an oaky presence)  with a good bit of life to it (read: not a tired old 28yo but a whisky that has life, and vibrance).  There’s a waxy texture to the nose, and a hint of the powder you’d find on a bubblegum cigar.

On the mouth — Given the waxy mouth feel, some would confuse this with an old Clynelish or Brora. Given the fizzy quality that floats on the waxiness, some would doubt this was a 28yo whisky.  It’s a bit of a contradiction in the mouth, but a welcome one, to be sure!

Cacao nibs

There’s all sorts of soft spice and light tobacco notes mixed in with chili infused milk chocolate, cocoa nibs, and macca root.



Longmorn Exclusive Malts 1985 28 years oldThe pears, they are baked with whole anise star, and cinnamon’d walnut oil.

There’s an elegance to this whisky that is very much a Longmorn quality.

Finish – Beautifully floral yet grassy, mineral-y yet sweet, and quite looooooonnnnnggg…

In sum – This is a great example of Longmorn.  Perhaps the best Longmorn I’ve had to date. This is a treat to any whisky fan or whisky novice.  A celebratory whisky, if you will.