Signatory Glen Mhor 1977 22 year old

While up in Sutherland, I had the opportunity to sit down with this bottling of Glen Mhor, thanks to the team at Dornoch Distillery, who are strongly in favour of learning from the past. As a bottle kill, this offered the last couple of pours from Glen Mhor and another example fading into history. 

Such moments are mixed as it always remains an honour to try a new drop from this bygone distillery. To appreciate the team that helped create the whisky and another sip towards whisky oblivion. A melting pot of flavours, aromas and memories surround me at such times. The consideration of what was happening in 1977 at the distillery and further afield. A moment to pause and reflect upon all things.

The perfect time to highlight the whisky world's greatest timeline for a distillery - and it keeps on growing! Go see for yourself what was happening around this period, or venture through time. Also, a wonderfully informative Distillery Info page that has all manner of things. The perfect accompaniment to a pour of Glen Mhor, when you have that occasion.

Signatory were one of the most regular bottlers of Glen Mhor, although I suspect these times have come to an end with the 1965 50 year old that was finished in a sherry cask for 88 months. I once had the opportunity to try that whisky at a show and I should have handed over the cash, but I was wary of the need to finish after all that time. There's still hope that Signatory have a cask of Glen Mhor somewhere, deep within those famous warehouses, but even if their time with the distillery has come to an end, they've left us with some memorable bottlings as you can see from our review section

Many releases have fallen into the Signatory Vintage range with its famous labels that highlight some remarkable dates and age statements. These are fantastic moments today and offer us some insight into production numbers and how well Glen Mhor can carry itself at a reduced strength. 

Back in 2021, I wrote an article on using such bottlings to provide an indication as to whether (and by how much) DCL increased production during its brief ownership of Glen Mhor. This is a topic I feel warrants more research as new discoveries are made. For now, we have this 1977 22 year to consider. 

Bottler: Signatory

Details: cask No.1563 which produced 384 bottles

Distilled: 12th May 1977

Bottled: 7th December 1999 at 22 years of age

Strength: 43%

On the nose: a very accessible arrival with apples and pears providing some sense of meadow fruits and also cinnamon. White grapes and chalkiness that delivers a mineral-like quality. There's an oaky aspect but restrained. Mint leaf, melon, flour, vanilla and nougat.

In the mouth: so soft and delicate but the flavour still comes through at this strength. More of the meadow fruits, icing sugar, potato peelings and pencil shavings. Lemon, sherbet, almonds, grapefruit and olives. 

My thoughts

Very typical of these Glen Mhor Signatory's with a gentle and calming aspect. Very aromatic, even at 43% with plenty of poise and vigour to keep you satisfied. 

Sure, at this reduced level there's less of the bonkers aspect of Glen Mhor. The rollercoaster and brutal nature of some releases was slowly ebbing away under the ownership of DCL. A different style of Glen Mhor and a whisky style we see very little of nowadays. And as much as I enjoyed very power, I still favour the rawness of the higher strength Glen Mhor's and their sheer level of depth and an ultimate Highland style. 

Score: 7/10