Imperial 20 (K&L Signatory Vintage 1995/2016 Cask #50267) Review

This is a 20 year Imperial bottled by Signatory Vintage as part of K&L’s recent selection. It was matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead and bottled at 49.1% ABV.

Nose: Fudge with orange peel, grassy malt with a bit of a salty, playdough like quality. Floral notes in the background with ripe bananas and cumin.

Palate: Sweet on entry before turning oak heavy and bitter – has a great viscous mouthfeel. Funky malt with underlying citrus and floral notes.

Finish: Sour malt with hay and bitter cocoa.

Rating: 82/100 – In my opinion, this is the best of the four recent K&L selections (other three being Glenburgie 21, Linkwood 19, and Dufftown 18). It’s a classic, funky Imperial with some interesting notes, but it doesn’t fully gel together at times.

Value for the money: This was the most expensive of K&Ls recent selections at $120, and I’d pass at that price. I’d peg this closer to $80 or so personally.

Imperial 15 Port Wood Finish (Gordon & MacPhail 1991) Review

This is a 15 year Imperial expression from G&M that was finished in Port casks and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Sweet port full of dark cherries and apricots tucked in potent sawdust notes with some older oak in the background. Grape juice comes through more cleanly after a bit with vanilla and wax.

Palate: Very strong port influence still with a blend of cinnamon, tart apples, beeswax, and nice balance of oak.

Finish: Remains quite waxy with dry oak and spiced fruits.

Rating: 85/100

Value for the money: I believe these retail between $75-$100, and I’d say it makes a pretty solid buy at that price if you’re into port finishes.

Imperial 18 (K&L Signatory Vintage Cask 50148) Review

This is an 18 year expression from Imperial selected by K&L a couple years ago. It was aged in a bourbon cask and bottled at 52.7% ABV.

Nose: Grassy, heavy oak, watermelon, and playdough notes.

Palate: An odd, bitter off-taste with some earthy notes among old oak and subtle malt.

Finish: Dry  – mostly oak with a little malt lingering.

Rating: 82/100 – Interesting nose, but palate is a bit strange. Imperial can have a funky profile for me and I’ve found them to be hit or miss.

Value for the money: This was around $85 on K&L, and I’d pass at that price.