Linkwood 17yo by Whiskybroker

by Matti

The third and last malt which will form a part of the first ‘new style’ blend (if you want to avoid me coming up with yet another pun as a name, please suggest one in the comments… ) is a 17 year old Linkwood which has been bottled by a relative newcomer on the scene of independent bottlers: Whiskybroker. This bottler eliminates the middleman by selling his bottlings direct over the internet and luckily for me now and then I am able to have a few of these come over to Holland. This Linkwood will have to provide much of the complexity in the blend as both the Kilkerran and the Clynelish are young and fiery, but not the most layered of drams.

The nitty gritty: Linkwood 17yo, distilled 5th of june 1995, bottled 2nd of october 2012,  51.2% abv, Cask #7127 (Hogshead).

Linkwood 17yo WhiskybrokerThe Nose is very much a fruity affair, but where the Kilkerran had green apples, this has overripe ones. Other fruit also appears: pear, cherry and grapefruit. After a minute or so, some woody notes appear, like the smell you get when you break a young sapling. (I know: aww…). Underneath it all is a soft hint of vanilla and if you nose low on the glass, you get more than a bit of fudge as well. Very interesting, this.

On to the taste then. VERY fruity is probably the simplest way to describe the start. This is not your 30-year plus tropical fruit, it’s much closer to home still with peach, apple, pear and grapefruit. Very sweet, it narrowly avoids becoming candy with the help of a few residual citric acids. In time, it becomes more woody and even a little drying, as the fruit calms down and integrates into what (after the crescendo start) can only be described as a miraculous balance.

The finish continues this, with the fruit receding into the background and the woody, spicy notes taking the upper hand.

Overall this dram does not disappoint. Linkwood, known for its fruity character, delivers in spades and the age lends a decent complexity while retaining quite a kick on first taste.

In a blend  this expression would do well either as a base (allowing for minor tinkering around the edges, but standing its ground as the centerpiece) or a medium-sized addition to a blend in need of some ‘oomph’ and mild woody notes. This last use is the one to which I will be putting it in the next post. In this, we will combine Kilkerran, Linkwood and Clynelish into what most certainly will be a fruity and hopefully a tasty whole. It will be interesting to see if the ‘kick’ and gradual integration present themselves in a blend as well. Stay tuned!