Linkwood has become that distillery that I try and wonder why I tried it again and again. What started as my wife ordering it because she connected a sick joke about a certain Nintendo hero and a slang term for sausage become a confusing mixture of me deciding if I like the distillery or not. I can bluntly say: Maybe?
To help with that, we have Linkwood Lunar Crater: Humboldt 12 2008 Scotch Universe, a sample that doesn’t say Linkwood but the internet has declared it enough that I split it thinking it was, in fact, Linkwood.
Linkwood Lunar Crater: Humboldt 12 2008 Scotch Universe is a long enough sentence that you’d be a bit confused: It’s named after a famous impact crater that is on the eastern limb of the moon. Got it? Great, it’ll help once you do moon tourism.
What is it? It’s a 12 year old Speyside that was aged in a First Fill Ruby Port Wine Barrique. So 12-years-old, cask strength, no mention of single cask or not, and potentially Linkwood based on Rumours, which was a great album, thus why I listened.
But how does it taste? Let’s take a moment to Go Your Own Way, have some Dreams about it, and then You Make Loving Fun. That was a word soup, let’s just get to the whisky.
Cask type First Fill Ruby Port Wine Barrique
Colour: 10R 3/8
Nose: Brown sugar, cherries, strawberry, tobacco (sweet earth), salt
Sweet, obvious red fruits, and some noted tobacco. Too bad I’m not a cigar/tobacco fan. Oh well, better for my lungs: More room for weed smoke, I guess.
Salty, sweet, and some earthy/tobacco notes. It’s impressive that it hits those acidic, sweet notes while also hitting the rich red fruit notes too.
Taste: Cherry, cola, tobacco (leather, spice), earthy
Rich, more tobacco (less sweet than before), and earthy. It’s not blowing me away, but I haven’t had a lot of soda/pop/Coke/sugar death juice in the past few years for health reasons.
That said, it does have better balance than the nose and was quite tasty.
Finish: Cinnamon, cloves, lemon pith, oak, mulch
Spice, more spice, some bitter notes, and more bitter. It’s really odd to go from a lot of sweets at the start, to about a pop level at the taste, to some light elements at the end.
Conclusion: It’s a lot of tobacco, and I am not a tobacco fan. That’s okay, more for other people. If you’re a fan of a tobacco laden whisky, then grab this. If you enjoy something unique and prefer a good nose over any else in it, this delivers on those points. If you’re looking for a typical port cask, you kinda get that, but depending on what you like from those casks, you may want to try it first.
Has this changed my mind on Linkwood? No, I’m still confused. I think the Linkwood elements are still here, and it’s well made in that way, but just add it to the pile of confusion, along with whiskies from Kilchoman these days.
Scotch review #1561, Speyside review #445, Whisky Network review #2285