staple brands of its region of Islay but find a way to give us a product
that stand alone in about every category there is. The masters at the
distillery try many things each year and get on the market what I call
designers scotchs. Usually in limited edition and bearing a specific
trait compared to the classic unpeated line. The Links series is one of
those lines and it sport a golf theme as each bottling represent a world
famous link course, this one being the Valhalla club. The links series
seems to be the first trial of refinishing the drams (before the Cuvee
series arrived). This edition is a sherry finish cask. The bottle I have
is the tenth bottling of the series and is limited to 18 000 bottles
capped in 2008 at 46% ABV, the level the distillery is known to release
their products. Some of the previous bottle were either 14,15 or 16
years old, this bottle is a 15.When poured there a deep caramel golden color to the drink. I am very
surprised to see that no color was added in the bottling process (note
on the bottle). That color is what the refilled sherry cask
gave it I presume.
When I take the first whiff in the glass I get a light apricot note
mixed with some kind of sour wood aroma. Hard to explain clearly the
odor but I can tell you I knew I was in for a renewed and pleasant
with this Laddie.
The first sip gave way to the classic iodine signature of the house. The
taste then evolve and bring brown sugar and sherry notes. The sip
finishes with discreet apricot/fruity hints and the sherry that has been
the distinctive signature of the bottle. The ending is clean and dry
like all of the unpeated Laddie it does not linger around for long and
let you palate clean soon.
I have to give a big thanks to Bruce for finding me this one as I was
aware of those bottling since 2005 and was never able to find one. My
final impressions on that scotch is that it shows the true pedigree of
the house wrapped in sweetness. Far from being a woody bomb the bottling
was/is a success from my stand point and has its place in my rotation
as it will be a very nice change of pace for any type of scotch lover.
The only problem is finding a couple as they are all limited bottling.
0-50 Drink at your own risk I would not wish this dram on my worst enemy.
50-59 Uninteresting, something to serve to bad company.
60-69 Shows some interesting touch but nothing more than average.
70-79 Interesting Scotch, something to try before buying.
80-89 Nice Scotch, something to insert into the rotation without a doubt.
90-95 Superb Scotch, something to enjoy and share on special occasion with knowledgeable friends.
A one of a kind bottle that should be hoarded as much as you find and
can afford. These do not come along often and are truly a jewels of the
crown in a Scotch bar.