SMWS 39.95 Caressing, warm and friendly

Linkwood 9 Years Old 2004 39.95 Caressing, warm and friendly (61.2%, SMWS, Refill Bourbon Barrel, 221 Bottles, 2014)

  • 61.2% ABV, £44 for 70cl
  • Score: 85/100

39.95 Caressing, warm and friendly

What they say:

Cask No. 39.95

The nose, fresh and attractively youthful, tumbled aromatic antics of vanilla, gorse flowers, sandalwood, scented candles and melon, plus plentiful sweet suggestions (stroop waffles, toffee ice-cream, lemon puffs, Edinburgh Rock, white chocolate). The palate also provided intense sweetness in the form of butterscotch, brown sugar, toasted marshmallows and custard creams; but we also found marmalade and black tea bitterness, white pepper, orange blossoms and ‘licking a new stave’. Still refreshing, the reduced nose conveyed pot-pourri, icing sugar, nougat and pancakes with lemon and honey. The palate now seduced us with its caressing sweetness and friendly warmth. From the east Elgin emporium.

Drinking tip: On a camping holiday, even when the sun don’t shine – this will provide warmth and smiling contentment.

Date Distilled: 7 May 2004 Colour: Pale buttercup Age: 9 years  Flavour : Young & spritely Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon barrel Whisky Region: Speyside Lossie

39.95 GC

What I say:

Another Linkwood (SMWS distillery #39 – really doing my homework now!) – and another favour called-in and sample received from Ben at Bens Whisky Blog. This is a 9 year old Linkwood matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel, bottled at 61.2% released early 2014 by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.


Refractive champagne gold, long medium-thick tears


Antiseptic, then chalky fruit sweeties (pez), honey, vanilla, cereal barley, broom flowers (sweet coconut), toffee, white chocolate orange, sandalwood, evolves


Initially smooth hints of vanilla and butterscotch, rapidly develops a sherbet orange and yellow grapefruit zesty ‘fizz’, sugar and lemon juice on crêpe pancakes, thicker and syrupy in the mouth, tinned peaches in syrup with a little vanilla and egg custard, marshmallows and icing sugar


Medium, floral orange blossom and zest with that continued icing sugar sweetness, more lemon juice slightly oaky and bitter (sweet and sour)


A lively, young and interesting dram. A lot of complexity and strong flavours in this one – carried in no small part by the high ABV. The Linkwood sweet, fruity and floral character is here then a whole host of other aromas and flavours. The result is a slightly oriental sweet and sour combination with the bias (luckily for me) towards the sweet although at points it feels like someone has just put a fresh squeeze of lemon juice in the glass as that acidity is captured to perfection. A good example of why some whiskies do not need a double-figure age statement on the bottle for validation.

Categories: Linkwood, Speyside

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