Whisky Review: Linkwood 25 Years Old

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Linkwood Distillery

Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Distillery Labels collection

ABV: 43%

Cost: £106.87 from Master of Malt [sold out]

linkwood-25-year-old-gm

What they say:

Colour: Dark golden.

Body: Medium.

Finish: Long.

Cask Type: Refill Sherry casks.

Style: A sophisticated Speysider – with some finesse.

AROMA without water:

Burst of freshness – hay like notes, with a defined hint of well toasted malt. Some candied fruits emerge and a subtle Sherry influence lingers. Herbal with a touch of Rosemary.

TASTE without water:

Mouth watering with a sweet and creamy edge. Some delicate hints of bonfire embers develop. Vanilla emerges and a hint of peppery warmth comes to the fore.

AROMA with water:

Toasted malt, with a Sherried sweetness. Hints of citrus notes (lemon zest) linger and a defined vanilla edge becomes apparent.

TASTE with water:

Initially sweet and warming with hints of mixed spices and a defined dark chocolate nose. A subtle touch of peat smoke lingers in the background.

What I say:

Sampled during our recent pop-in to Scotch at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. I had wanted to try another closed distillery (Glen Mohr I think) but unfortunately (again) the bottle had recently been finished. The selection was expansive but I had already tried a good number, even so there were a few that I hadn’t sampled before so I split the intended cost between this old Linkwood from G&M  at £10.50 and another less expensive Islay dram (more on that later). The drams arrived with water/pipette, some smoked almonds and dark chocolate drops which were a very nice touch for my little sampler tasting session. I also had the joy of surreptitiously glancing at someone very familiar across the bar until it dawned on me I was watching Steve Coogan (perhaps more famously known as Alan Partridge, Ah-Hah) involved in a lively discussion with presumably TV producery types?

Colour:

Dark golden amber (10/20) fine tears and fine legs

Nose:

Sweet, honeyed fruits, peach, apricot, very unctuous and syrupy, honey roast almonds or sugared almonds, a touch of something herbal and floral like violets, parma violet sweeties or violet chocolate creams

Taste:

Sweet and almost savoury, stewed fruits in white wine, pears, peaches and apricots, syrupy in flavour but medium-bodied in texture, perfumed woody oak, some woody sugars and nutty almonds

Finish:

Long, dray and tannic wood spices with tobacco leaf and cigar boxes

Overall:

A classically sweet and easy-going Linkwood, nice subtle stewed fruits and almonds perhaps more sherry cask influence here than I had realised. The whole dram oozes luxurious & enveloping woody sugars. Not a bad price per bottle too, if you are looking to treat yourself.

Score: 88/100

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