Every year around the Whisky Exchange’s The Whisky Show event in London, they release a slew of special bottlings. Mostly these consist of their Retro labels, in which they have an artist draw up some old fashioned style labels for some of their bottlings.
There usually also is a single bottling they call a Masterpiece. This year that was an incredibly strong Caol Ila that will be reviewed soon. There’s also some ordered bottlings from Signatory and Gordon & MacPhail. And of course, last but not least, they smartly time a few of their Single Malts of Scotland and Elements of Islay bottlings to happen right before the show too.
Anyway, together with my mate TT, I bought four of their bottlings. I initially planned on four Retro labels, but while there was an appetizing Caol Ila in that line up, I could upgrade it to the Masterpiece for a couple of quid. It sounded smart at the time. We’ll see in a couple of days.
This Linkwood is the first bottling I’m trying from (apparently) last year’s event. I’m not overjoyed by Linkwood by default, but there have been some good ones. Linkwood tends to be a little bit bitter, and if that happens with a good sherry cask like I hope this one is, it might turn out splendidly.
The sherry is not as upfront as it could be. It’s timid even, and there’s a hint of vanilla coming through, with some caramel. Caramac bars, but also dates and figs. A tiny hint of menthol and some oak. The figs and dates are huge and it reminds me of a date milkshake I once had in Palm Springs. Gorgeous!
The palate is not as rich as I’d expected it to be, but it does show off the increased alcohol contents. The dates are fresh, as are the figs. After that a slightly bitter dryness sets in with a hint of cigar tobacco. It gets thicker as you let is roll around a little bit, but it does keep its fire going. Toffee and caramel fudge.
The finish shows that fire initially, while it slowly warms your throat. The sherry is a little bit drier with a minor focus on the bitterness and the oak. Lovely and long, with again, the dates, and maybe some raisins.
This might not be the best sherried whisky ever, it is a very decent one. The price is right too, but the Linkwood bitterness with the clear flavor of dates is gorgeous. The caramel adds to it and I guess I’ve gotten the main flavors clearly from this dram.
In short. I love it. It’s big, it’s sherried and it’s delicious. Good picking from The Whisky Exchange and its cronies.
Oh, it’s also still available at only £ 65.
Linkwood 16yo, 48% – The Whisky Exchange Retro Series