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

Style: Sweet, Creamy and Spicy

Nose:
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.

Palate:
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.

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

Thoughts:
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 | **-]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Gordon & Macphail Connoisseurs Choice Linkwood 1984 Aged 34 Years

Style: Sherry, Spicy and Complex

Nose:

Cranberries, red fruits, faint meatiness, waxy honeycomb, vanilla cream, strong peppermint all pressed tightly together to form a solid column. Herbal overtone flies high, while forest berries showing some refreshing fragrance. A sweet and fresh aroma.

Palate:

Autumn fruits, honey-baked ham, cherries and red liquorice blossoming nicely on the palate. Subtle floral notes infused with the peppermint spike, pecan pie served with some lip-smacking Sangria. Tobacco leaves, nutmeg and walnuts slowly emerge as the oak and earthiness come into effect. Herbal note continues to stand tall, chewy forest berries lingering at the back end.

Finish:

Sherry cream touches gently on the malt. Apricots and oranges humming softly, leading to a chocolate and forest berries finish.

Thoughts:

Not often you get to see a 34 years old Linkwood these days (that’s why I bought it), and this is quite an interesting drop. High abv, the distillate remains strong. As a result, the sherry and other elements have to accommodate and eventually subsumed by the spirit. A robust dram with nice sherry complexities to it. Close to 2 stars.

☆ [Recommended]

[58.1% | 1984 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Single Cask | Batch 18/064 | Cask Strength | 481 Bottles | Matured in First Fill Sherry Butt | *+]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Gordon & Macphail Linkwood Cask Strength 1991

Style: Sherry-Fruity, Spicy and Complex

Nose:

Fresh cranberries and cherry blossom leading the sherry mist, hitting a stiff malty core which is further plated with graphite and chilli spice. Valencia orange squeezing in between, dry honeycomb with a touch of floral note and tails with Belgium chocolate.

Palate:

Ah, the summer berries and orange citrus open up brightly on the palate. Lemon zest strings, ginger/chilli spice gives the dram a great burst of life. The sherry notes – Cranberries, red liquorice, and co. laced around the fruity malt. Coconut shreds, more blue berries down the track, while subtle floral overtone is released up high and growing stronger overtime. Finish with lime juice and honeyed barley.

Finish:

Malt, then another bite of chocolate, fruits and sherry slowly fade away.

Thoughts:

It must have been a while since I bought this bottle because I have no recollection of purchasing it. I was quite surprised to find it left forgotten at the corner on my Speyside shelf. A pleasant surprise! Anyway, back to this dram – Maybe it’s a bit shy, but the expression manages to cover a wide spectrum of flavours, showing multiple dimensions of Linkwood in a pretty balanced way. The complexity is even more evident when it is given more time. All credit to the fruit-malty core, which remains unfazed in front of a rather strong sherry presence. Quite a decent dram.

☆ [Recommended]

[53.4% | Independent Bottling |1991 Distilled | 2007 Bottled | Aged 16 Years | Cask Number: 5520 & 5522 | Cask Strength | Non Chill Filtered | Non Coloured | Matured in First Fill Butts | Tasted on 18/12/2019 | *]

-Esmond

 

 

Dram Review: Cadenhead Single Cask from Linkwood-Glenlivet Distillery Aged 24 Years (Bottled for Whisk-e)

[55.1%・24 Years Old・Distilled in 1992・Bottled in 2017・Cadenhead Bottling for Whisk-e・Limited Release of 240 Bottles]

Nose:

Sweet and malty evenly presented, corn bread brushed with velvety caramel and an abundance of vanilla.

Palate & Finish:

Luscious body of pineapples and stone fruits, heaps of vanilla sauce drizzled atop with baked red apples and custard on the side and just an optimal amount of spices.

Wood shaves and burnt toast to finish nicely against the fruits.

Thoughts:

We are blessed once again with a solid Bourbon cask matured Linkwood carrying some age and such a lovely profile; this time a single cask for Whisk-e Japan. Super serviceable for those who enjoy a clean malt.

☆ [Recommended]

Thank you Minami San, Nakada San and Tachibana San for a great evening and thank you for the dram.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Cadenhead Small Batch from Linkwood-Glenlivet Distillery Aged 24 Years

[50.9%・24 Years Old・Distilled in 1992・Bottled in 2017・Cadenhead Bottling・Limited Release of 384 Bottles]

Nose:

Vanilla and marshmallow, fine honey with a mellow layer of candle wax. Spirited with the light oak mingling with clean pasture and a mild floral note. It’s quite composed.

Palate & Finish:

Gorgeous gooey honey infused with vibrant tropical fruits. Excellent mouthfeel of sweetness and tangly spices as the vanilla is perfectly laid out together with some tangerines and grapefruits.

A hint grassy with honey softly brushing on fruit peels in the finish.

Thoughts:

Simple dram, immense enjoyment; the textbook Speyside nectar of the modern days..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Cadenhead’s Linkwood-Glenlivet Special Individual Cask Bottling

[55.8%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1969・Bottled in 1991・Cadenhead Bottling for Dival di Gabri・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

The cask, drenched with vintage Sherry, imposes a powerful and deep richness.  Antique tea leaves, salted caramel, and oven dried strawberries in addition to notes of moist Charistmas cake and ample tannins.  This is the epitome of an epic vintage Sherry cask.

Palate & Finish:

For such a heavily Sherried cask, this is astoundingly clean, full strength but rounded by creamy Sherry, prunes and rose water.  Figs and strawberry jam also ooze out with bitter chocolate coated ginger and cinnamon dust that somehow ease the explosiveness..

The tannins slowly take over in the finish, nursing the dark-fruits-caressed syrupy finish..

Thoughts:

An 1990s bottling that embraces the extravagance of big vintage Sherry, and in turn imparts wonders.. serves well as a deeply satisfying dram to finish off a long night of incredible adventures..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Cadenhead Small Batch from Linkwood-Glenlivet Distillery Aged 18 Years

[54.7%・18 Years Old・Distilled in 1997・Bottled in 2015・Cadenhead Bottling for The Whisky Hoop・Limited Release of 270 Bottles]

Nose:

A clean and direct welcoming from the malt and honey, complimented by toasted cereal.

Palate & Finish:

Honey and spices, slightly peppery note amidst the crisp malt. An animated follow through if poached fruits dosed in honey.

A consistent follow through of honey with some garden herbs to finish..

Thoughts:

I am quite fond of the recent batches of Linkwood Bourbon casks bottled by Cadenhead.

This bottling for the Japanese market is stylistically simple but certainly well tuned, very much on point in delivering those pleasing characters.

Rather than being a breakfast whisky, for me this feels like a whisky for a salaryman who has just clocked off work..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas