I think this was the first Linkwood in my collection, ever. It’s a recent release that came out a month or two ago, when the lockdown was just in place and my passion for whisky was rekindling. I might blog more on that later, but I saw this bottle pop-up and based on the color, the cask strength-ness and the bottler, I decided to buy a bottle.
It set me back about € 100, which isn’t too crazy nowadays. It’s not cheap either, but with some samples sold, it’s not too bad to drink half a bottle of this myself. Which I did. Rapidly.
The last couple of years I’ve been veering away from these heavily sherried whiskies, especially sherry finishes. I consider them often to be rather delicious, but obfuscating the distillery character, and that’s what I’m more interested in.
I decided to buy this one anyway, and I can’t even say why. However, with it already being empty, you might guess in which direction this review is heading.
Linkwood is a bit of a strange distillery, who’s character I generally describe as ‘beery’. There’s a bit of a floral/herbal bitterness to it that I’ve not found in many other whiskies.
Orangy sherry with cloves. Baking spices and citrus fruit. Candied lemon, oak, hints of Gouda cheese. After a while there’s bayleaf, some laurel. Dried basil.
The palate has some bite, with spicy sherry and quite a lot of oak. There’s a lightness, too, somehow. It keeps the richness from becoming too much.
The finish is a bit more straight forward with lots of spices, dried fruit and lots of oak. A long finish with orange seeds, candied orange peel, hints of chocolate. That weird cheesy note.
I think in this case the combination of bourbon maturation and sherry finishing works very well. There’s enough typical sherry notes with citrus fruits, baking spices and dried fruits to accompany the rather strong spirit with other herbs, lighter fruity notes and that bitterness that is present to a lesser degree.
What makes this a very dangerous whisky is that you barely taste the rather high ABV. As in, you notice it’s high, but I’d never guess this to be almost 60%, and therefore you’re quickly inclined to drink a second or third dram of it.
All in all, this is a cracking whisky that I thorougly liked. It’s rather complex with both the spirit and both cask types making for an intriguing and unique whisky.
Linkwood 13, 2006-2020, Bourbon Hogshead, with a Fresh Sherry Butt Finish #2, 58.4%, Signatory Vintage. Still available in Germany for € 135 (up a third already)