Linkwood 13yo, 2006-2020, Signatory Vintage Cask Strength Collection
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Signatory Vintage
Cask type: Bourbon Hogsheads, Fresh Sherry Butt Finish for 3 Months (#2, 713 btl.)
Nose: As one would expect from the dark colour, sherry aromas immediately rise to the nose, together with the typical dark dried fruit. Orange and some banana are added. With time spicier with notes of tobacco leaves, coffee and cigar box.
Palate: Powerful start on the palate. Here the high alcohol content is clearly noticeable. Chocolaty with a subtle mocha note. Warming and astringent. Over time creamier and fruitier with dark jam, some fig and a hint of cinnamon.
Finish: The finish is long and initially creamy with sticky fruit. Then clearly drier with oak, coffee, mocha and notes of tobacco leaves.
With water: Clearly more lively, sparkling and fruity on the nose after the addition of water. Dried fruit, dates, figs and orange lemonade make their way through the
nose. Fruity, spicy and prickling on the palate with sticky fruit, a touch of tobacco and some coffee. The finish is still long, less warming, but much more spicy with oak, tobacco
leaves, cinnamon and mocha.
Comments: A sherry cask finished Linkwood, which does not really convince me. The aromas are altogether very closed and for me not clearly interpretable. This single malt seems round but somehow one-dimensional. With water it becomes much more lively and gains some complexity.
I thank Kirsch Import e.K. for the complimentary sample and the photograph!
Linkwood 30yo, 1974-2005, Rare Malts Selection
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Cask type: Oak Casks (6,000 btl.)
Nose: Lively and quite fruity on the nose with cherries, dark berries, cooked apples, pears and oranges. Then notes of crisp barley arrive, nicely mixed with roasted bread and a touch of black pepper in the back. Pleasantly intense.
Palate: Quite strong on the palate. Fruity and sweet at first with cherries, oranges, pears and apples. Then an intensive warmth emerges with oak, pepper and delicate cinnamon spice. Creamy almost oily with barley sugar, hazelnuts, milk chocolate and a whiff of smoke towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm, creamy and slightly bitter-sweet with Seville oranges, subtle toffee, nutmeg and a touch of oak on the tail.
With water: The intensive fruitiness on the nose is a bit tamed when adding water. The delicate sweetness, however, remains while subtle floral notes (heather, hay) and oak arrive. Still strong on the palate but lively. Sweet with barley sugar and fruity. Slightly bitter and dry towards the finish with prickling oak, pepper and nutmeg. The finish remains long, warm and fruity with oranges. Becomes drier on the tail with oak, tobacco leaves and a hint of heather.
Comments: An old school whisky from the seventies, surprisingly fruity for its age. It has enough power with its almost 55% abv, whereby the sweetness and fruity notes are very well balanced by the warming spices of the oak casks. Even livelier with water, although dry woody notes significantly come to the fore. A complex and delicate whisky.
I thank Björn Lahmann from Whiskyplaza for the sample!
Linkwood 16yo, 1998-2015, G&M Private Collection
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail
Cask type: Côte Rôtie Wood Finish (4,000 btl.)
Colour: Reddish amber.
Nose: Intense and very fruity on the nose with strawberries, raspberries, red cherries and apricots. This is complemented by plums, dark grapes and a strong wine aroma. Hints of sweet vanilla, oak, pepper and cinnamon in the back.
Palate: Subtle sweet but very fruity start on the palate with wine aroma, strawberries and raspberries, followed by a slightly sour touch of red currant. Warming spices arrive with oak and cracked black pepper, nicely mixed with subtle tobacco leaves, dark chocolate and a hint of barley sugar and toffee sweetness. Warm and complex.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and slightly sweet with red berries, plum compote and a whiff of tobacco leaves on the tail.
With water: Water enhances the fruitiness on the nose with more strawberries, raspberries and plenty of wine flavours. Sweet and fruity on the palate with a tamed and only slightly warming spiciness, whereas more plum compote and toffee notes come through. The finish is medium long, slightly warm with red fruits, plum compote and reduced spiciness.
Comments: Wow, what a cracker! This is a wonderful bottling satisfying nose and palate equally. The Côte Rôtie French wine cask finish brings in delicate fruitiness and well-dosed sweetness but without overwhelming the distillery character. Rich, complex and well-balanced with a proper spicy core. Best to enjoy in front of a log-fire.
I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!
Linkwood 10yo, 2005-2016, The Whisky Chamber Anniversary 10 Years
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: The Whisky Chamber
Cask type: ex-Bourbon Barrel (#99/2005, 282 btl.)
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Intense on the nose with ripe yellow fruits - tangerine, peach and apricots - accompanied by a subtle sweetness, The alcohol is very present but only slightly pungent, with a whiff of oak and tender herbal notes in the back.
Palate: Deliciously fruity on the palate with lingering notes of peaches, apricots and citrus fruit. This is immediately followed by a warming spiciness of oak, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper, which becomes dominant with time. Sweet notes of ripe apples emerge with a delicate note of acacia honey towards the finish. Warm and complex.
Finish: The finish is medium long, warm and slightly sweet with sticky honey on the tongue. Gets drier on the tail with delicate nutty flavours, oak and subtle nutmeg.
With water: The alcohol is tamed with a few drops of water bringing the lovely fruitiness to the fore, accompanied by a nice citric note. Sweet and creamy on the palate with apricots, tangerine, peaches and oranges, complemented by a slightly warm spiciness. The finish is still medium long with a sticky honey sweetness, followed by nutmeg and dry oak.
Comments: This is a complex and delicate dram! Lovely notes of ripe yellow fruits nicely intermingle with a warming spiciness and creamy honey sweetness. A few drops of water push the alcohol in the back underlining the wonderful fruity aroma. An exquisite dram for celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Whisky Chamber.
I thank Thomas Ide from The Whisky Chamber for sample and photograph!