A Fine Christmas Malt 2019
- ABV: 54.2%
- Age: 10 Years Old
- Bottling: The Whisky Exchange
- Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
- Cost: £56.95 exclusive to The Whisky Exchange
- Origin: Linkwood distillery
- Vintage: Undeclared
What they say
The Whisky Exchange has bottled an exclusive Christmas Malt for 2019, set to bring festive joy and Christmas spirit wherever and whenever it’s poured. This fine Christmas Malt has been distilled and bottled in Speyside, having matured for 10 years in ex-bourbon and sherry-casks, triggering the wonderful flavours of Christmas with a core of fruit and festive spice. A whisky to enjoy on Christmas afternoon while unwrapping presents, or as the perfect gift for any whisky-lover.
Distilled at Linkwood distillery
Aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 10 years
2696 70cl bottles available
54.2% ABV / £56.95
Official tasting notes By Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange:
- Nose: It’s afternoon tea time and a festive spread awaits. Candied-peel-studded vanilla sponge with lemon cream is surrounded by a scattering of sugared almonds and crisp spun sugar. Nutty Florentines – before they’re dipped in chocolate – are topped with an extra handful of glacé cherries. Creamy malt notes drift across the table, followed by a touch of chamois leather and musky incense – a pair of freshly-unwrapped, last-minute-gift driving gloves sat on a nearby chair.
- Palate: Sweet and malty notes lead, dusted with spicy cinnamon and lightly drizzled with toffee and lemon – cinnamon swirls with a zingy glaze. The toffee notes continue, with the apple and sultana cake following, covered in crisp crystals of brown sugar and topped with lemon zest and candied lemon peel. A bunch of herbs sits ready for the kitchen: bunched mint and tarragon.
- Finish: The leafy herbs are the first to be taken away, with candied nut brittle quickly consumed not long after, leaving a scattering of sweet Christmas spices and polished oak.
- Comment: Sweet and citrusy with a core of fruit and festive spice – a beginning to a day of traditional excess. A whisky for Christmas afternoon, before dinner. Pairs well with a big box of biscuits, marzipan fruit and unwrapping presents.
What I say
It is definitely beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and for me that means a bombardment of whisky, from advent calendars to Christmas exclusives, Santa’s presents to me undoubtedly clink whilst they are being delivered. This sample comes courtesy of Billy at The Whisky Exchange and is their annual ‘A Fine Christmas Malt’ bottling. Hailing from Linkwood distillery which I associate with a complex and floral quality, it has been matured in a combination of both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks and bottled at 10 years old and 54.2% ABV.
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Antique gold (4/20), medium-fine tears and long thin legs.
- Nose: Crisp and sugary sweet, candied peel, ginger, nutty almonds, orange oil, malty barley, leather.
- Taste: Sweet honey, lemon, crisp on the palate again, lemon barley sugar, lemon drizzle cake, cinnamon dusted and glazed donuts – krispy kreme originals? – sugary fudge, ginger and lemongrass spices.
- Finish: Short, spun sugar and spice/herbs, almond nut brittle.
Hard to fault Billy’s tasting notes which describe this one perfectly. This whisky is full of fairground or sweetie shop or possibly even Christmas market flavours such as classic donuts, nut brittle and barley sugars. I was hoping perhaps for a wee bit more sherry influence to tip it into Christmas cake or pudding territory but this is a fine quaffable malt all the same.
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