Category Archives: Linkwood



Region – Speyside – ABV -45%

Day 25 here. Merry Christmas to all that enjoy this holiday.

For me, I’ll enjoy Chinese Food and a Movie on this joyful day.

Silliness aside, we’ve got a 30yo Linkwood in ye old whisky glass. Time to discover the penultimate whisky!

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015

On the nose — Deviled eggs (heavy on the paprika) in a walk-in humidor. Let’ me elaborate on the deviled eggs: what I am enjoying here is a rich creaminess with a fair amount of paprika to cover up the overall egginess of the savory snack. So, this is a note I quite like.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015Well oiled elevator shoes, subtle cologne and old Topps baseball cards (sans the brittle chewing gum stick).

In the mouth
— Lived in study, more oiled leather, yellow label chartreuse, white pepper, a velvet Elvis picture that’s been sitting in your attic for 30 years, linseed oil and lanolin, wood panel walled finished basement with every board game you can think of.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015The year 1977.

Great mouthfeel.

Finish — Herbaceous and long finish with slight pepper.

In sum — A totally unique whisky and wonderful way to end the calendar. To be honest, I thought I would not like the last whisky given the very VERY pale color of it. However, it was totally delicious and brought me back to a more innocent time in my life.

I hope you enjoyed the holiday that is most special to you!  Cheers!

Linkwood 13yr Single Cask – bottled for the SMWSA – Cask number 39.75

Speyside region – 58.5%ABV – Go here to gain access to bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

I am delving once more into the world of single cask, cask strength whiskies.  There are a few bottlers out there who offer single cask, cask strength whiskies; Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Duncan Taylor, Signatory… to name the big ones.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an exclusive group and you need to be a member to gain access to their whiskies.  The SMWS is now probably the only source for Ardbeg & Glenmorangie single cask whiskies (seeing as Glenmorangie now owns both Ardbeg and the SMWS, that would make sense).

Sure, you can try to get a single cask bottling of an 11yo Ardbeg, bottled by Ardbeg but you’re going to pay hundreds of £|€|$ for it.  Or you can get a similar, kick-ass, 11yo single cask, cask strength Ardbeg from the SMWS for $95.  Your choice.

But I digress… Let’s talk about Linkwood!

On the noseDank whole leaf tobacco however very sweet smelling as well with hints of maple candies and raisins.

I’m even a getting a minor hint of strawberry – a note I seem to find from time to time but rarely see it in other peoples notes; could just be me.

Burnt wood and perhaps some lemon zest.

Quenepa fruit – very tart.

Really lovely smelling stuff.

On the mouthPowerful stuff with hints of gunpowder.

More tobacco notes.

More citrus notes and very peppery – really biting.

Burnt caramel and Wasa Crispbread.

FinishStill biting, almost fizzy.  Lime leaves and more Crispbread notes.

In sumA nicely balanced single cask whisky.  Yes, it’s first fill sherry but there are very few notes of what you’d commonly find in a sherried whisky (heavy on the dried fruit, and a sometimes cloying sweetness).  That being said, this is uncommonly delicious.  I can enjoy this on in any season however, it’s not an easy drinker – it’s powerful stuff and if you’re up for a challenge, this one is up your alley.  Another yummy Linkwood.

A big thanks to Aron Silverman for the generous sample!

Linkwood 15yr – Old Masters Collection

Speyside region – 59.2% ABV – $|£|€ – ???

I am increasingly becoming more and more fond of single malt whiskies produced by Linkwood – nearly all of which are independently bottled, by the way.  For the most part, the fluid is used in various blends such as Johnnie Walker, Bells & Haig.  This is a shame for those who prefer a single malt, but, good news for those who also enjoy a good blended whisky (I represent both of these types of people) as Linkwood whiskies tend to be nice, rich and complex – the perfect addition to a blend to enhance its deliciousness.

The name “Old Masters” is somewhat new to me.  When you think of independent bottlers some companies come right to mind: SMWS, Signatory, Duncan Taylor, Douglas Laing (who does the Old Malt Cask, Provenance & Premium Barrel lines), etc…

So, let’s see what the Old Masters get us with this Linkwood:

On the nose Strong spirity nose with an initial attack of blue nail polish remover/acetone.

Big malty notes.  Belgian beer.

Tropical fruits like pineapple and dried papaya.

Shoelaces (think “fat” laces from the old school hip hop days a la Grand Master Flash & Run DMC).

This is some strong stuff so, I decided to add a wee bit of water.

With water, the nose softens tremendously…

Now some big oak and sweet sugared grapefruit halves are revealed.


On the mouth Big malt.  Big, big malt.

Hot mouthfeel.

Spicy notes and those tropical notes carry through.

Something highly sour about this schtuff too.  Can’t place it.

Adding water now…

The mouth feel gets chewy and that sour note evolves into lemon pith and dry white wine sangria.

Finish Long and stinging in feel thought short-ish in flavor.

Like a mouth full of whitehead hornets (poor Winnie the Pooh!).

With water the finish is still very long but with a few less bees a’buzzin’

In sum A lot going on here.  Very complex but not sure it all worked out in the end.  If you were to go for this whisky, and I’m not sure I’m suggesting such a thing, I would reach for it in the late spring/early summer time.  Very bright & fruity.  I didn’t hate this whisky I just think it could have used a few more years in the cask or perhaps it should have been transferred to a new cask for a Re-JEW-Vination™ of the spirit.

Truth be told, I reviewed this whisky more than a month ago or so and it wasn’t until yesterday when Chris at The Whisky Wall reviewed the same whisky.  You should hop over to The Whisky Wall to check out Chris’ review.

Loch Chaim Linkwood 17yr Single Cask

Speyside region – 46%ABV – $73 – $92

Here we go again, delving a bit further into the not so wide world of kosher certified Scotch whiskies.

“What would make a whisky not kosher?” you ask.  To make a long story short, whisky matured in a non-kosher wine or sherry cask, to some Jews, renders said whisky non-kosher.  To some Jews, myself included, this is not a relevant statement.

To make a short story long, read this well written piece by Alan L that I’ve been meaning to post for some time now…part 1 and part 2.

You know, I don’t think I’ve met a Linkwood I didn’t like.  So, what about one with no sherry influence?  Let’s see…

On the nose Oak and oats.

A bit of a vanilla bomb here.

Fizzy white wine.

Sweet and low.

For 43% ABV, this is a bit stingy in the nose!

Dollar store, no-named powdered sugar candies…

Like Smartees with less of a fruity influence, more sugar than anything.

On the mouth Here we go.

Great mouth feel, coating my tongue with Hostess apple pie goo.

Honey and breakfast cereals (muesli).

Toasty almonds (slight, more of a bitting marzipan note here actually).

Flaky sugar coating (again, from that Hostess pie)

Finish Short to medium yet nice and warming.

In sum Yup, it’s true, I haven’t met a Linkwood I haven’t liked and this one is no exception.  A nice whisky for Jew and Gentile alike.  Perfect for a chilly night in lieu of a sherried whisky.

1992 Linkwood by McGibbon’s – a single cask Provenance bottling 46% ABV

Speyside region – 46%ABV – 750ml – $76

I am very new to Linkwood.  Many out there (especially Americans) simply have not even heard of Linkwood.  Most of their whiskies are used in Johnnie Walker (among other blends).  However, there are many indy bottlings out there (this being one of them) as well as some distillery bottlings.

So far I’ve had this and a Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling.  The SMWS bottling is mind blowing – I’ll be posting on that shortly.  This one is very nice.

On the nose Huh… notes of imitation pine needle spray (like an artificial Christmas wreath).

Light toffee notes.   Lemons and creamsicles.

Fresh cut wood.  Better yet, damp plywood.

Perfumed like a “Puerto Rican Shower” (not trying to offend anyone of Latino heritage, it’s a ridiculous term indeed.  Ridiculous, imaginative, horrible but quite descriptive).

On the mouth Extremely light mouthfeel.

Lemon caramel (caramel in flavor, not feel – again, this is a thinner one).

Slightly nutty.

A touch winey – think tannins with a small amount of fruit.   Actually, I’m reminded of a dry summery rosé here.

Wow, in the last sip bigger sherry notes came out.  Nice.

Finish Oh, it’s all about the finish here.

Great caramel notes.

Baked potato with sour cream and scallions (is this juice from one of those Wonka sticks of gum)?

Short with feel, long in flavor.

In sum Light and pleasant.  An easy drinker if you just want to relax or, if you want to concentrate on it a bit, you can find that there is a fair amount of complexity here.  A nice summer dram.