Linkwood 10 1989 Old Malt Cask

Linkwood 10 OMC

Yet another review request, and this one comes to us from my favourite pub[1] .

Quick comment about the image: Turns out I forgot to take a picture of the dram, and also it was busy so I didn’t take a picture of the bottle. This is a rarer bottle that you won’t find, as there is also a 21 year from the same year and bottler, thus no images online either. So… my bad.

My wife tolerates my whisky tasting. She’s a saint when it comes to patience. Basically imagine being at a table, and someone is making weird, thinking faces while drinking and writing notes on something that you aren’t really that interested. And here she sits, and she finds a way to have fun with it, and that’s (partially) why she’s awesome. She tries each one, she picks me up bottles, she helps me shop for it, and she’ll pick out a random dram at the bar.

And this random dram was actually a request that someone made. She picked out the Linkwood 1989 Old Malt Cask (10 year).

I couldn’t tell you WHO requested it, as my list is getting really long and I can’t remember if someone requested Linkwood or Douglas Laing or Old Malt Cask, but someone requested it and I had it on my list, so this one if for you…. person?

Linkwood has a very bumpy history, changing hands between different companies, opening, closing, stopping for world wars, stopping for half of the 80s (don’t blame them), and eventually ending up in the hands of Diageo. Most of their (98%-99%) malt goes into blends, so it’s rare to try them by themselves.

Let’s see how my first foray into this Distillery with this “mystery dram” went.

Price: N/A

Region: Speyside

Abv: 50%

Age: 10 years

# of Bottles: 459

Colour: White grape (Almost clear, though there’s a little bit of yellow there)

Nose: Grape juice, cinnamon, apple, lemon, sea salt

Simple, though not without the nuts to make you quite happy. I’m completely confused at this point, as my wife has chosen a Speyside, which means I’m going to be very confused.

Note to Future Swaps: I can’t figure out Speysides well, so if you want to trip me up, go right ahead.

Taste: Sour melon, pepper, ginger, chipotle, plum, red licorice

There’s a great mouthfeel on this one, which I attribute to not being chill filtered. There’s a lot of sour fruit and sweetness in this one, and it’s a really nice dessert dram.

In all seriousness, try adding a little bit of Chipotle (the spice, not the fast food) to a dessert you like. A little spice can really kick up chocolate and what not.

It’s a good thing (/endMarthaStewart)

Finish: Iodine, grit, smoke, cocoa, orange rind, dates

The fruit turns much more sour/rich, and there’s a hint of Islay trickery at the end. Just to note, I did NOT have an Islay before tasting this, so the smoke isn’t creeping in from somewhere else.

Conclusion: I’m completely stumped at this point. I guess the region wrong twice (yay not saying Island or Lowland), I get the Abv. wrong (it’s really smooth), and for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name ever. Not to mention my wife is a huge Legend of Zelda fan, so she chose the name because it makes her giggle and remember fan fiction.

I enjoyed some aspects of this. It’s tasty, does what it needs to, and there are much much worse drams out there. There’s nothing overly special about it, and the grittiness in the finish is off putting. It reminds me of a better Bunnahabhain 12 actually, or a much better Dalmore. I’d say try it out, this is a decent release.


Scotch review #111, Speyside #31, Whisky Network review #143

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