Extra info: Bottled by Gordon & MacPhail
Reviewing a Linkwood is always a pleasure for me and something I look forward to. However, I tasted this a while ago (under very different circumstances) and it didn’t really impress. So hopefully the setting at that particular moment wasn’t ideal. Either way, I want to give this another try. This expression was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and is part of a standard range, ie this is not a limited edition (or even a single cask for that matter). There have been a few batches over the years, this is the most recent one.
Nose: Nice, spicy sherry notes. A good whiff of oak and toffee. This reminds me of some (old style) Macallands, from the pre-fine oak period. Dried orange and some nice fresh summer fruits; apple, apricot, figs and pineapple. A hint of pepper, nutmeg and even cloves. Chocolate sprinkles, citrus marmalade. The refreshing fruity sweetness paired with the spice really is quite lovely.
Taste: Oh, that’s quite drying. Bitter spice (cinnamon, nutmeg) and dark chocolate. The fruits seem lesser now and more in the region of (dried) raisins and dates this time. There’s a nutty taste as well, maybe walnuts and almonds. A hint of tobacco, even, albeit very light. Some dark honey and caramel sweetness.
Finish: Medium in length, with the honey quite prominent at first. Oak and malt are next with the wood adding the necessary spice. Tree sap, more chocolate, raisins, apple, burnt caramel and cinnamon.
Overall: I like how this reminds me of old style Macallan and even Glenfarclas. Quite a full-bodied malt with great sweet-spice battles going on. I would have preferred the finish to be slightly sweeter, but I’m nitpicking now. Would love to see this with another 5 or so years of maturation and maybe at cask strength.
4 stars (86-90 range)