Linkwood 13, 2008 (Single Malts of Scotland)

The first two whiskies in my week of reviews of recent US releases of malts from Single Malts of Scotland did not do very much for me. The week began on Monday on Islay with a young Laphroaig that was decent but nothing more. Tuesday moved us to the higlands with a slightly older Clynelish that I liked even less, finding far too much oak in it. For the last of the trio we are in the Speyside with the oldest of the three. Will this 13 year old Linkwood prove luckier for me? Let’s see.

Linkwood 13, 2008 (48%; Single Malts of Scotland; bourbon hogsheads; from a bottle split)

Nose: Orchard fruit (apples, pears, a hint of peach), cream, pastry crust, a bit of toasted oak. This is the kind of bourbon cask nose I like. The cream expands as it sits; the oak, thankfully, remains in the background. A few drops of water and there’s more of the fruit (with more acid) and cream and less of the oak.

Palate: Comes in with brighter fruit (some citrus joins the apples and pears) with the oak framing it all. A good drinking strength and good texture. As it sits there’s more of the peach from the nose, mixed in with some pineapple. Let’s see if water releases more of that complex. Yes, it does and there’s also a bit more oak to go with it.

Finish: Medium. The oak and the fruit move out together. As on the palate with time and water.

Comments: The Laphroaig and the Clynelish disappointed but this Linkwood is very nice indeed. Which is not the summary I would have expected to be issuing in the normal course of events. Anyway, I am very glad to end this series on a high note.

Rating: 87 points.


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