EYE / NOSE
Deep dark tones. 'Cola' basically says it all. Very spicy on the nose. Cedarwood, tobacco, black pepper, nutmeg, thyme and dark chocolate cream. Leather polish and ginger sticks. Then hot, black coffee that takes over as soon as you have indulged in the scent. The fine sweetness does not seem artificially sugary. Dates come to mind, and dark honey can also be seen in the background. The alcohol is present, but in no way stings.
Very pleasant, powerful mouthfeel. The Blender's glass fits the character of the Linkwood like a glove and gets everything out of this wonderful malt in terms of aromas. In terms of taste, my journey of discovery begins with freshly roasted espresso beans, followed by sweet liquorice and delicately tart dark chocolate with an exceptionally high cocoa content - 80% or more. It even looks a little salty. No massive individual aromas, as one might fear, but a pleasant 'sherry carpet' - too heavy to pass as filigree but nevertheless exceptionally harmonious. Fine notes of nuts and almonds and indeed some 'green', grassy notes that are reminiscent of Linkwood's distillery character. Astonishing depth and structure of taste that are seldom found today. Actually, these experiences are hardly to be found with 'modern sherry malts', but rather are reserved for sinfully expensive distillates from the 1950s / 60s, even before the sweet Paxarette era. Anyone who knows sherry-stored Glen Grants from those early years, for example, knows what I'm talking about. But, as is well known, exceptions determine the rule.
FINISH / CONCLUSION
Long, extremely spicy, dry finish. The oak spice with its sweet mocha notes and plenty of tobacco literally 'stands' on the tongue and won't let go. Very elegant, chocolaty and tannic bitterness. The wood is pleasantly noticeable. Last but not least, a hint of lime. Very classic profile, also in the aftertaste. No missing notes. The malt is neither unpleasantly bitter nor over-spicy, like so many of the young, black finishes of modern times, nor does sulfur cloud the enjoyment. What kind of powerful, impressive dram has matured here? Not a sweet 'lollipop', as you can sometimes find it in the sherry sector, but an exceptionally robust sherry painting with clear corners and edges, which I haven't tasted in a long time. Not a pleasing flatterer, but a very mature looking, sophisticated whisky that deserves time and attention. The comparison with the famous GlenAllachie 1989, 30yo Oloroso is interesting. Two formally very similar and yet wonderfully different pearls. In direct comparison, the GlenAllachie gives the rather fruity aroma bomb, whereas our Linkwood likes its role as a relic from bygone days. Very strong whisky!