Monday, 27 January 2014

Finding My Marbles

Linkwood 12 - Flora & Fauna - 43%

Who'd rescue Zelda and save Hyrule?

Linkwood yeah? Ever tried it? The chances are that most whisky drinkers have without even knowing it. A hefty amount of the spirit hauled out of the gates goes into Johnnie Walker and White Horse blends. There's trickery going on behind those stone walls.

It's a testament to the quality and versatility of this Speyside stalwart that, a couple of short hiatuses notwithstanding, Linkwood has been producing the good stuff for nigh on 200 years. Malts may be highly prized by the whisky anorak, but it seems that the world demand for blends is what keeps the lights on in this part of Elgin. That being said, it'd be rude not to shine the spotlight on what this malt is capable of.

Bundles of orchard fruits. Mixed nuts with honeyed cashews providing the highlight. Grassy and fragrant.

Water beings more grass and fewer nuts. Fruit is still the major player here, now with a light, citrussy element.

Crisp, dry and fruity. Toffee apples and toasted pine nuts. A slight saccharine note that is kept in its place by sharp baking apples as the dram opens up.

The palate is somewhat impeded by water; although crisp and dry, the fruit has taken a bit of a beating and the toffee is all but gone. A little winey with a sherbet effervescence.

Lingering but far from brash. Dry and slightly sour on the sides of the tongue. A little spice after a while with a moderately vegetal final bow.

Water develops little and damages lots. A few drops is all it takes to render the finish insignificant.

It's clear to see how Linkwood has survived the peaks and troughs of whisky history. It's a very capable malt but ideally suited to blends, i.e. good quality but plays well with others. Currently available for a shade over £40, it won't break the bank either. Worth a try.

Grade: B
A great example of a light and fruity Speyside, just don't add water.

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