Signatory 35th Anniversary: Glenturret, Mortlach, Laphroaig

Signatory 35th Anniversary: Glenturret, Mortlach, Laphroaig

Signatory Vintage is celebrating its 35th anniversary. Similar to what they did in 2019, they released a series of impressive old single malts. Some are even sister casks of these 30th anniversary whiskies, now five years older.

We start with three whiskies: Glenturret 1988, Mortlach 1991 and Laphroaig 1990. Expect some Blair Athol, Highland Park and a series of Bunnahabhain expressions some other time.


Glenturret 35 yo 1988 (51,2%, Signatory Vintage ’35th Anniversary’ 2023, bourbon hogshead #537, 208 btl.)

Nose: very waxy. Lots of paraffin notes, sunflower oil and old waxed paper, along with very ripe mirabelles, guava and pineapples. Then old leather, hay and varnish. Subtle mentholated notes and the acidity of green apples and lemon cordial. Whiffs of yeasty dough as well.

Mouth: this juicy fruitiness comes out again, albeit a little less tropical this time. Green bananas, lemon syrup, grapefruits, herbal honey and bergamot oil. A subtle fermentary funkiness as well, that reminds me of some rums. Oily notes and subtle medicinal herbs. Then more leathery dryness with a yeasty / chalky edge and hints of varnish.

Finish: not too long, but still nicely oily, with echoes of overripe fruits and some spicy oak.

A slightly peculiar Glenturret. On the nose it’s mostly the tropical fruits and waxiness that are stealing the show. On the palate it is less classic – never dull, in any case. Lovely old-style whisky. I had a great time with this dram.



Mortlach 32 yo 1991 (54,1%, Signatory Vintage ’35th Anniversary’ 2023, first fill sherry butt #4241, 580 btl.)

Mortlach 1991 - Signatory Vintage 35th Anniversary Nose: really typical, showing mineral oils, some earthy and leafy hints, as well as orange and some natural sulfuric character (matchstick heads). A bit of caramel, flints and tobacco. Ripe golden apples and very subtle sherry notes. After a while some apricot appears in the background.

Mouth: more sulfuric now, with a fatty texture, more matchsticks and perhaps a little rubber now. Minerals and herbal notes set in, alongside a meaty Oloroso note. Then tobacco, autumn leaves, chestnuts and walnuts, leaving an almost tannic dry note in the end. An intriguing but balanced combination, with a nice autumnal character.

Finish: long, with more walnuts, tobacco, some broth and hints of cocoa.

Even though I’m not naturally drawn to this profile, this Mortlach does offer a lot of typical flavours in a way that I find really attractive. It is also the case here. Limited fruits but a distinctive, meaty whisky. Score: 90/100



Laphroaig 32 yo 1990 (51,4%, Signatory Vintage ’35th Anniversary’ 2023, bourbon barrel #81, 195 btl.)

Laphroaig 1990 - Signatory Vintage 35th Anniversary Nose: a nicely medicinal start on menthol and iodine. Cold wood ashes, beach pebbles and barbecue smoke. After a while beautiful honey appears, as well as peaches, lemons and raisin biscuits. Then mango and tinned pineapple underneath, with beeswax too.

Mouth: mature peat smoke, bandages and iodine, mixed with grapefruit, hessian and subtle tarry hints. Still intense coastal notes after all these years. Sweet lemons and light mango are present, but overall I’d say it’s not the most tropical ’90 I’ve had. Salty hints, camphor, smoked olive and subtle dark chocolate in the end.

Finish: long, with ashes, herbs, grapefruit and saline smoke.

Maybe not unexpected after so many undisclosed 1990s, this Laphroaig is really good. I was hoping for more fruits on the palate, but we don’t mind this sharper, smokier profile either. Score: 91/100