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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

August 25, 2016


Little duets, today Imperial

Yes, again. The former hidden gem is becoming more and more cult as several indies are issuing very good (and very fruity) expressions. Signatory Vintage, for example…

Imperial 20 yo 1995/2016 (50.8%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, hogshead, cask #50252, 232 bottles)

Imperial 20 yo 1995/2016 (50.8%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, hogshead, cask #50252, 232 bottles) Four stars and a half Colour: straw. Nose: ah, this one is particularly mineral and even chalky, and perhaps less a fruit bomb than other 1995s from the same excellent bottlers. It’s even, as they now say in wine, rather saline. There’s also a little rubbed mint and perhaps notes of band-aid, as well as a good deal of cut grass. So, rather more austere than others, with rather green plums at the fruit department. With water: gets a little rounder and easier, with ‘sweeter’ fruits. My beloved mirabelles! Orange juice. Mouth (neat): more fruits! Lemon-forward muesli or something, many acidic fruits (green gooseberries and greengages), and a tart, rather biting side that certainly not unpleasant. Did they distil muscadet? With water: once again it gets rounder, without losing its lovely vivacity. Finish: medium, zesty, citrusy… Grassier aftertaste. Comments: another ‘wine malt’. If you like them ‘angular and chiselled’ as much as this little taster… SGP:561 - 88 points.

Let’s find another interesting indie in the Imperial pigeonhole, perhaps one that’s rather younger…

Imperial 15 yo 1996/2011 (51.3%, Duncan Taylor, Dead End Whisky Club, hogshead, sherry octave finish) Three stars Sorry, no picture. Colour: dark gold. Nose: traces of oak flying around, plus many raisins and notes of earl grey tea, with this chalkiness again in the background, as well as marmalade. With water: awesome. I’m not too fond of all these octaves, they often display much pencil shaving and other woody aromas, but this time it works very well. Chartreuse aged in American oak, or something… But it soon goes towards butterscotch. Mouth (neat): very rich, raisiny and oaky, lemony… Grapefruit and tobacco. With water: the herbal side comes to the front. Oak-aged chartreuse again, but the oak got a little too loud this time. ‘Sawdusty’. Finish: rather long, with oak tannins and a lot of tea. Pepper, cinnamon. Comments: I had it at a rather high score for a while, but water makes the oak stand out on your palate. A solid bottle nevertheless. SGP:461 - 80 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Imperial I've tasted so far







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