Signatory Vintage Linlithgow (St. Magdalene) 26 Year (1982)

Scotch Whisky Review #421: Signatory Vintage Linlithgow (St. Magdalene) 26 Year (1982)

Distillery: Linlithgow / St. Magdalene.

Region: Lowland.

Age: 26 Year. Distilled on October 5, 1982 and bottled on June 3rd, 2009.

ABV: 61.2% Cask Strength.

Cask Type: Wine Treated Butt.

Cask Number: 2200.

Price: $31.25 / oz.

Color: 0.7, Amber. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: It starts of really light before getting a little more concentrated with some discernible notes. It does remain quite light throughout. Floral notes are the main act here followed by nectar and something like a thinned out honey. There is almost waxy character as well. Every so often comes notes of morning dew and some grass along with a little bit of the wine coming through. Overall, the nose reminds me of a chrysanthemum tea that has had a bit of honey added.

Palate: Quite strong at the full proof, you can definitely feel a kick. Mouthfeel wise, this one is a touch oily on the tongue. A splash of water cools it down thankfully. You get that same thinned out honey note that was on the nose with a bit of floral tea. Some bitter, fruity notes in the form of orange rinds and orange oil join in as well. With a little more water, it becomes quite waxy. The wax is a much a much thicker type than what you’d get on a Clynelish, it almost feels like chewing on parafilm.

Finish: The length ranges between sips oddly. Some sip have a very short finish and some have a longer one. When it is longer, you get more of the honeyed chrysanthemum tea and some sharp note of green apple comes through time and again. After a long while there is a bitter note of citrus rind to wrap things up.

Conclusion: I’d recently taken a bit of a break from writing reviews and whisky in general and /u/b1uepenguin suggested this one to me as a good dram to jump back in with. I have to say, he made a fantastic recommendation (as usual!). While anyone who knows anything about St. Magdalene’s distillery will probably tell you that the stuff was not known for its quality, the folks at Signatory Vintage have managed to find and bottle a very good cask here. The wine treated cask, potentially being paxarette, proves to not be an overpowering influence but one that adds a little bit of depth to what might have been an otherwise straightforward floral dram. The nose gives off a fantastic chrysanthemum tea vibe with tinges of the wine. The palate has more of that with a very lovely bitter orange notes coming through to make things interesting that continues on into the finish. Those notes combined with the oily-waxy mouthfeel also makes this one stand out quite a bit for me. Overall a really good dram and another dead distillery to check off the list!

Final Score: 88.

Scotch Whisky Review #421, Lowland Review #15, Whisky Network Review #575

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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