Glenmorangie Signet and dawn breaking in Sandton Square

Anything to do with Glenmorangie reminds me of Whisky Live in Sandton several years ago. In those days many international whisky people came to visit us in South Africa. After the show, the conversations with these vibrant visitors stretched into the early hours of the morning. Traditionally the last night ended in Sandton Square at the foot of Nelson Mandela’s statue, with the night changing into day.

On one of those nights the conversation turned to wood management. Dr Bill Lumsden, now head of distilling and whisky creation at Glenmorangie, was one of six people sat round the table. Bill’s doctorate is in wood management. He spoke, we listened. It was one of those special whisky moments when the passion and dedication of whisky makers comes across as clear as the new-make spirit flowing off the still.

I enjoy using Glenmorangie, particularly the Original, in tastings. The distillery has the tallest stills in Scotland and the spirit is very light.  The distillery is known for its venture into different wood finishes and new expressions are eagerly awaited by the whisky loving public.

Some years ago they launched Signet, a beautifully packaged whisky with a deep, rich flavour and colour to match. The barley is heavily roasted – they call it “chocolate malt” – and whiskies from some of the older casks at the warehouses go into the blended malt whisky.  I remember the Global Brand Ambassador, Karen Fullerton, taking a few us through a tasting. The whisky is very special, a worthy addition to one’s whisky collection.

Have a look at this press release…and the bottle below.


Glenmorangie Signet represents the very essence of Glenmorangie. The award winning single malt is the culmination of the Distillery’s 170-year dedication to crafting unnecessarily well-made whisky.

It is informed by the mineral-rich water of Glenmorangie’s Tarlogie Springs; the local Cadboll barley, which adds a silky creaminess to the spirit; the 150-year-old oaks which make up the casks in which it is matured and the Distillery’s ancient provenance, signified by the ancient Pictish artwork of Glenmorangie’s homeland, the Hilton of Cadboll Stone. The first whisky to be created from high-roasted “chocolate” malt, and incorporating some of Glenmorangie’s oldest stocks, Glenmorangie Signet epitomises the Distillery’s reputation for combining innovation with tradition.

The spirit is a deep amber colour with aromas of chocolate, coffee and mint, layered with dark treacle, spice and fruits. Tastes of rich sweetness contrast with spices and bitter mocha, combined with baked apricots, orange peel and malt, which finish in tastes of fresh mint and lemon.

First released in 2008, Glenmorangie Signet has won a series of industry awards, including several Gold Outstanding and Best in Class awards from the International Wine and Spirits Competition, and Gold awards from the International Spirits Challenge and San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


Aroma: A strong Aruba espresso fused with a treacly plum pudding, rich with sherry, and candied orange peel.

Taste: A contrast of rich sweetness with an explosive crackle of sizzling spices and bitter mocha.

Finish: A fresh spring-like breeze of mint with a bright citrus lemony-green quality.”