Next in our ‘no brainers’ set of affordable adult whiskies was a Linkwood. I will admit I still regret passing up a Gordon + MacPhail Linkwood at Heathrow Airport last year, however admittedly it did NOT qualify as affordable at the time.
Linkwood is another Diageo distillery that is better known as an element in blends like Johnnie Walker and White Horse than as a single malt. However for some time it has found its way to whisky aficionados through independent bottlers, then Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series, followed by official bottlings in 2008.
What did we find with this particular 25 year old Linkwood? After the rather disastrous introduction to the Benrinnes… anything would have an improvement! Thankfully this Linkwood was a beauty…
Linkwood 25 year 43% (G&MP)
Here is what we found:
- Nose – Lovely stewed fruits, apple brandy like Calvados, figs, citrus, little nutmeg, hint of smoke with some toast and wood
- Palate – Soooo silky smooth, beautiful with just a hint of peat to keep things interesting, more apples with a touch of light pepper, sweet, smokey yet light
- Finish – Long and smooth
- Water – None were tempted… it was perfect as is
Overall it was such a welcome change from the Benrinnes – light, bright with just the right touch of peat. While clearly sherry, this element was not overpowering, instead we found a subtle balance between the different elements – neither too much sherry, nor too much peat and so dangerously delicious and easy to drink!
As I babbled on about how Gordon & MacPhail (G&MP) has yet to let me down… I was teased for my ‘whisky crush’ on these independent bottlers.
Bottom line – I have yet to ‘meet’ a whisky from G&MP where I felt ‘cheated’ or ‘let down’ by the experience. Sure I don’t expect a $10,000 whisky for a $100 price, however their different ranges can meet most avid whisky fan’s requirements.
I’ve reached the stage where can blindly say when someone asks for a recommendation “Look for something bottled by Gordon & MacPhail… see if the style described fits what you like and just buy it!”
Case in point, this 25 year old stunner retails for only $110. That is exceedingly good value for quality in my books.
Here’s what the folks over at Gordon & MacPhail have to say:
- Aroma – Burst of freshness – hay like notes, with a defined hint of well toasted malt. Some candied fruits emerge and a subtle Sherry influence lingers. Herbal with a touch of Rosemary.
- Taste – Mouth watering with a sweet and creamy edge. Some delicate hints of bonfire embers develop. Vanilla emerges and a hint of peppery warmth comes to the fore.
- Aroma – Toasted malt, with a Sherried sweetness. Hints of citrus notes (lemon zest) linger and a defined vanilla edge becomes apparent.
- Taste – Initially sweet and warming with hints of mixed spices and a defined dark chocolate nose. A subtle touch of peat smoke lingers in the background.
- Imperial 20 year (1995/2016) 54.8%
- Benrinnes 24 year (1991/2016) 52.6%
- Linkwood 25 year 43% (G&MP) (this post)
- Blair Athol 27 year (1988/2016) 55.7%
PS Our Whisky Ladies had an opportunity to sample this courtesy of our BMC contributor… their impression was largely consistent with the gents… described as romping through the meadows (on the nose), a bit sharp then earthy moss, charred wood (on the palate), a little spice and nutmeg in the finish. The overall impression? We liked!!
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