I believe that after this review I will only have one whisky left to write up from K&L’s 2020 parcel of casks—or at least the ones I went in on bottle splits of. A good thing too as their 2021 casks have begun to arrive, as have my shares of bottle splits of some of those casks! Anyway, after this Linkwood I will only have an Aberlour 25 to review and I expect to get to that this month as well. At nine years of age this one is quite a bit younger—and it’s also quite a bit younger than the teaspooned Linkwood they brought in last year. I was not terribly enthused by that 27 yo. Will this one, a third its age and bottled from a refill bourbon barrel at an eye-popping strength, be any better? Let’s see.
Linkwood 9, 2010 (62.6%; Old Particular for K&L; refill barrel 14285; from a bottle split)
Nose: Quite expressive despite the high strength: red fruit (cherry) mixed with lemon; some floral sweetness; cereals; malt; and a bit of polished oak. The fruit intensifies with time and the oak expands a bit too. A few drops of water and this turns into a lemon bar dusted liberally with powdered sugar.
Palate: Comes in here with big fruit as well: sweet lemon, turning almost cloyingly sweet as I swallow, like a sweet lemon liqueur. Oily texture and surprisingly approachable at full strength. More bite on the second sip and then the sweetness begins to back off a bit. Continues with the same excellent marriage of fruit and oak. Okay, let’s add some water. I was expecting it to mellow but water actually adds some bite—the pepper from the finish shows up earlier. A little waxy too now.
Finish: Long. The oak and the lemon liqueur fade out slowly, picking up cracked pepper as they go. Salt as well at the end with time. More pepper here too with water.
Comments: This was a wonderful surprise. I am a sucker for the marriage of lemon and oak that this young malt delivers in spades. It sort of reminded me of early bourbon cask Glenlivet Nadurra. The only real knock against it is that there isn’t a whole lot of development happening but it’s also only 9 years old; and there are no flaws that I can find. At the $55 that was asked for it this was a very good deal for what it is. If you got a bottle or two I envy you as I would love to have this on hand to reach for on most evenings.
Rating: 87 points.
EW! Rating: 120/100 points