Wemyss Summer Breeze – Linkwood 20 year 46%

It was several years waiting to try this beauty! I knew it would be a delight… and was exactly right. So right that it was enjoyed at a couple farewells with such joy that only a lone dram remained… waiting until this fine evening in 2021…

Linkwood 20 year (1995/2015) Summer Breeze Cask #20877 (Wemyss) 46%

  • Nose – Initially greets with crisp green apples, joined by sweet cheese and a sprinkle of sweet spices, some ginger, more apple… perhaps a hint of sweet basil? Lovely fragrant vanilla
  • Palate – Has more substance than the nose would indicate… reminded me of honey banana oats or a soft oat and raisin cookie, with more of that lovely ginger, apple cider
  • Finish – Warm drizzle of honey with a nice spice chaser

It is like wandering through an orchard full of apple blossoms on a warm summers day,,,  Wemyss have rather aptly named this whisky “Summer Breeze’.

Here is what they have to say on the bottle label:

A delicate, fresh, fragrant Hogshead to take you to a summer’s day.

Would I concur? Yes indeed.

This is one of those whiskies you simply enjoy… no fuss, no complications, just happiness. Which is why you will simply have to forgive the limited tasting notes… and permit me to going back to enjoy my last sip!

I picked up this bottle in 2017 at Le Clos, Dubai for AED 380 (approx EUR 85). There were 374 bottles produced.

What other Linkwood‘s have we sampled?

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Germany’s Stork Single Malt 43%

There I was in Neumark in der Oberpfalz, having spent a wonderful day exploring… from Schloss Rosenburg, Ruine Rabenstein, Burg Prunn, Wellenburger Kloster to the Danube… True it was cold and snowy. True, everything was shut, so we could only tromp around the outside… but it was still such an invigorating distraction after weeks of being shut in.

That’s one of the remarkable things about the area I now live in Germany – castles and fortresses, ruins and monuments… oh my! There is so much history and such variety in relatively close proximity.

So too is the whisky industry… there are apparently now over 200 whisky distilleries in Germany. Without the guidelines / limitations of the Scottish Whisky Association, quite a bit of experimentation takes place…. often in quite small / micro distilleries.

And on that particular evening in Nuemark, I was introduced to one such new player – Stork Club Whisky from Spreewood Distillers, 60 KM south of Berlin.

So what’s their story? Steffen Lohr, Bastian Heuser and Sebastian Brack apparently were on a road trip in 2015 to buy a barrel of whisky… and found themselves inspired to take over Spreewood Distillers. Dedicated to Rye Whiskey, focusing on small batch, triple cask aged – ex bourbon, ex sherry and ex white wine – using two distillates – malted and unmalted Rye, primarily from the Brandenburg region.

What did we find from this distillery primarily dedicated to Rye?

Stork Single Malt 43%

  • Nose – Chestnut, a bit of varnish then settled down, becoming sweeter and sweeter,  fruitier, beeswax, honey, almond, a bit of green grapes – the white wine cask influence perhaps?
  • Palate – Fresh, fruity, surprisingly creamy, a dash of cinnamon spice… it was a very ‘drinkable dram’ with no harsh notes

We found it was a terrific ‘sipping whisky’…. friendly and easy going yet had enough character that you knew it would also make a great cocktail base.

Talk turned to quintessential “Lufthansa cocktails” famous in the 50s and 60s… pre-mixed and bottled yet served with a certain panache and style. Speculation that this Stork whisky     would be terrific in an Old Fashioned or Manhattan… perhaps someone should suggest this to the folks behind reviving these cocktails?

What do the gents behind The Stork have to say about their Single Malt?

  • Flavour Profile: Fresh Hay, Honey, Tropical Fruits
  • Cask: Ex-Bourbon, Ex-Sherry, Ex-White Wine Cask
  • Occassion: One for every evening
  • Raw Ingredient: Barley malt
  • Beer Accompaniment: Pilsner, Wheat Beer, Pale Beer

Now outside of Germany or perhaps parts of the US fond of a “boilermaker”, listing a ‘beer accompaniment’ for a whisky may frankly seem a little strange. But in a land known for its beer and more recently whisky, why not?

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