Linkwood 19, 1997 (Signatory for K&L)

Linkwood 19, 1997, Signatory for K&L
Just about a year ago I posted reviews of four exclusive Signatory casks for K&L in California. I split those bottles with a bunch of other people. I liked a couple of them a lot (the Blair Athol 26 and the Benrinnes 20) and while the other two didn’t get me very excited, they were solid malts as well (a Glen Elgin 24 and an Imperial 19). Here I am now with the winter 2016 edition of K&L’s Signatory casks. In addition to this Linkwood 19, there is an Imperial 20, a Dufftown 18 and a Glenburgie 21. Three are priced quite reasonably (<$100); I guess we’re being asked to pay a closed distillery premium for the Imperial ($120). In my review of last year’s Glen Elgin 24 I closed by saying that that bottle only seemed like a good deal for the age if you fetishized a high age statement, not so much for the actual whisky, which was just a middle of the road malt of its type. Still, I did like all of last year’s casks. Will these be at least at that level? Continue reading

Linkwood 19, 1993 (Chieftain’s)

Linkwood 19, 1993, Chieftain's
I really liked the Binny’s Linkwood 16 I reviewed a month and a half or so ago (enough to purchase a full bottle after going through my share of a bottle split) and it’s about time I started acquainting myself more fully with this distillery’s output. This one is just a bit older than the Binny’s exclusive (via Signatory) but far younger than the 37 year old that is scheduled to arrive later this year as part of Diageo’s annual Special Release lineup. That one will probably cost around $1000 so even if this review is highly untimely it is no less useful than any reviews you will read in October or November of that 37 year old.

This was bottled by Chieftain’s, an Ian MacLeod label that doesn’t seem to be quite as ubiquitous in the US as it once was. Or maybe it still is and I’m just not paying attention—wouldn’t be the first time I didn’t know what I was talking about and also not the hundredth time.   Continue reading

Linkwood 16, 1998 (Signatory for Binny’s)

Linkwood 16, 1998, Signatory for Binny's
This Linkwood was also part of the larger Binny’s bottle split I coordinated a month and a half or so ago. I saved most of my share of the bottle for my local group’s March tasting and it went down a treat there. Here now are my own notes taken separately from a larger pour than we drink at our tastings.

Linkwood is another of Diageo’s workhorse distilleries: there are no regular official releases, and most of it goes into the group’s blends. While the indies have a put a fair number out I’ve had very few Linkwoods and have reviewed even less: only these two older ones distilled in the 1980s—and both of those were in my occasional “Quick Hits” series, which means this will be my first Linkwood review with a score. Fascinating, I know. Anyway, let’s get right to it.   Continue reading

Quick Hits: Two Linkwoods from the 80s

Linkwood
Another entry in the “Quick Hits” series: this time two Linkwoods from the 1980s. (Previously featured: two 1980s Inchgowers, and two 1960s Tomintouls). Once again, too little of each to form very confident appraisals and so there are no ratings and I would encourage you not to in any way consider these notes (or the previous entries in the series) as guides for making purchasing decisions.

I don’t know a whole lot about Linkwood. I’ve had a few bourbon cask teenagers and that’s about it. It’s a Speyside distillery that makes a lightly fruity malt that mostly goes into Diageo’s blends. Every one that I have tried (only 2-3) has been solid but none have knocked my socks off. Will these samples demonstrate sock knocking-off potential?  Continue reading