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.
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.