From Speyside-Lossie, we’ve sampled quite a few Linkwoods over the years – from 8 to 28 years – some fabulous, some average, but generally enjoyable. We even have one from Diageo’s Flora and Fauna collection planned in the coming month or so!
Linkwood 11 year (06/2007 – 01/2019) 58.2% Bourbon Hogshead Cask No W8 804350, 283 Bottles
We first sampled it ‘neat’…
- Nose – Bananas, raw pastry dough, a bit of cherry liqueur, toffee, bakewell tart, raspberries, javitri (the dried flower around nutmeg), raw almond oil shifting into coconut over time, yuzu lemon, as it continued to open, it further evolved – revealing malt, figs, caramel and vanilla
- Palate – Remarkable! It was – dare I say it – floral? It also had a delightful peppery quality, a zesty spring that complimented its exceptional floral quality. Quite unusual – in a rather appealing way
- Finish – Nuanced
The 1st sip was a surprise. We didn’t find it overly floral on the nose but it was like sipping a garden bouquet, not the gulab (rose water) of an India sweet but something more like stepping into a flower shop or perfumery. While sometimes we find something this pronounced on the nose, rarely on the palate. How unusual!
While we didn’t feel compelled to add water, I thought to try anyways…
- Nose – The aromas shifted back to banana – but this time banoffee pie – that fabulous mix of bananas, dulce de leche, graham cracker crust, fresh whipped cream… and in this case an extra boost of vanilla
- Palate – Could it be possible that the floral element has become perfume? Yet equally it was stronger, spicier, bringing out more ‘oomph’ and character while still being silky smooth and temptingly sippable…
Here is what the bottlers have to say:
This Linkwood has everything you would expect from a smooth whiskey. It is clean, the aromas are very well balanced and the aging notes are well integrated. You can call it an ‘all-day whiskey’ with a clear conscience, because it goes with almost any occasion. It’s actually a shame that there are only 283 bottles!
- Smell : Red, ripe apples and cherries, milk chocolate with a little amaretto, mace and lavender, pleasantly malty with a distinct malt sweetness.
- Taste : Not quite as fruity anymore, but still a lot of chocolate, which is now a little darker and mixed with roasted almonds. Warm spicy notes such as mace and long pepper can be recognized. The tire notes are very clean, but remain elegantly in the background. With dilution, the whiskey becomes softer and develops a light orange-zest aroma.
- Finish : Warm and spicy, the dark chocolate notes remain oily on the palate.
Not sure we agree… Though you could, this certainly is not an “all day” drinking dram! As we considered the tasting notes realized it comes across as something ‘ordinary’ rather than extra-ordinary. While the description certainly sounds ‘nice’, we found a whisky that went a good deal beyond mere ‘nice’, instead more of a special treat – something both delicate and complex – even into the ‘exquisite’ territory.
What can we say but well done – both for Linkwood and the cask selection!
What more do we know? This single malt is from a single cask – Bourbon Hogshead – which produced 283 bottles, priced at € 80 for a 700 ml bottle.
What else did we try from The Whisky Warehouse No 8?
- Auchentoshan 18 year (1998 / 2017) 48.3%
- Dailuaine 12 year (2007 / 2020) 61.5%
- Benrinnes 19 year (1997 / 2016) 52.9%
And some of our earlier explorations of Linkwood?
- 8 year Very Cloudy (2008/2016) 40% (Signatory)
- 10 year 48.2%, Batch 7 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
- 13 year (1998/2012) Cask No 5014 Refill Sherry Hogshead 46% (G&MP)
- 15 year 43% (G&MP)
- 16 year (1998) Côte Rôtie 45% (G&MP)
- 20 year (1995/2015) Summer Breeze Cask #20877 46% (Wemyss)
- 24 year (1991/2015) 53.8% (Signatory)
- 25 year 43% (G&MP)
- 25 year 40% (G&MP)
- 28 year Linkwood-Glenlivet (1989/2017) 43.7% (Cadenhead)
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