Linkwood 9 Years Old 2004 – 39.95 Caressing, warm and friendly

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.

Colour:

Refractive champagne gold, long medium-thick tears

Nose:

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

Taste:

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

Finish:

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

Overall:

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.