Whisky Review: SMWS 39.199 Linkwood 1989 30 Years Old “Polishing Melons”

Style: Sweet, Creamy and Spicy

Cool and brisk wind of Lavender and peppermint flows in and forms a deep and concrete backbone. Winter melon candies, beautiful crème brulee, rock melon mochi and glazed pears building around it, very sweet, and quite creamy too. More confectionaries down one level, fresh-cut grass, morning dew sitting on top of more creaminess – mostly in the form of vanilla cream and toffee. Five spices and anise giving a drier complexion, barley sugar lightly sprinkled with sea salt towards the end.

Similar theme continues – More confectionaries thinly coated with vanilla milk, honey caramel, assorted glazed fruits, nashi pears, kumquat, fleshy navel orange, summer berries, even some apples and then gradually revert back to rock melon notes. Powerful spirit spice forming both a consistent undercurrent and overtone, with spearmint spikes piercing in from both sides spontaneously. Green grass gleaming quietly around the core, transition to pumpkin puree, coconut shreds, nutmeg and some soft peppermint and sawdust to finish.

Subtle fruity tail, pineapple, coconut chips and naval orange flashing a little bit, vanilla cream to round it off.

A very sweet Linkwood. Maybe that is down to the toasted hogshead finish that imparts extra creamy sweetness to the spirit, but not too much which can make the expression too “Virgin oak-y”, it strikes a pretty nice balance here. Also you will need a spirit spice as strong as Linkwood pull it off, 30 years and not even a wrinkle in this, incredible. Sometimes I am a bit skeptical with the cask finish project of SMWS, but this one is very well-done in my honest opinion. Clean, fruity, grassy and creamy, very lovely. Low two stars.

☆☆- [Highly Recommended]

[49%| 1989 Distilled| Single Cask| Natural Cask Strength| 177 Bottles| Initial Cask: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead| Final Cask: 2nd Fill Toasted Hogshead | **-]