Behind what is already the twentieth window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a Linkwood 10yo batch 8 single malt, bottled at 48.2% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. Linkwood is a distillery located at Elgin, in Speyside. It was created in 1821, changed hands several times, and in 1971 a second distillery, called Linkwood B (the original one being Linkwood… A) opened with 4 new stills in addition to the existing two of Linkwood A. However, in 1985 Linkwood A closed down (with its original stills) until 1990 where it came back in production for a few months each year. Owned by Diageo, Linkwood is mostly used for its Johnnie Walker blend and there’s almost no single malt except for the 12yo Flora & Fauna, a couple very old ones, and mostly independent bottling. This batch 8 had an outturn of only 417 bottles and can still be found on the German website whiskytaste.de for a mere 37.90€ (around £32.30 at current exchange rate).
Coldorak: The nose is a bit shy at first but still gives you honey and a spirity side. Some orchard fruits appear after a moment, with peach and pear. There’s also lemon juice and maybe a pinch of salt and a couple almonds dropped in the cask (meaning, very faint). A few drops of water unfortunately quieten the nose.
Ainulindalë: At first some varnish but the good kind. Behind that some honey is hiding along with subtle vanilla. There is a floral note that I cannot place and some slight apple whiff. On the background some oaky note underlines it all.
Coldorak: Sweet arrival with a pinch of pepper that becomes slowly more and more prickly, it’s accompanied with lots of vanilla and some clementines. Vanilla and pepper are quite on the front and don’t leave lots of space for the rest, but hidden in the back palate you can find some oak, dark chocolate and a long shot of espresso. Reduction add brown sugar and caramel, and slightly delays the pepper, without toning it down.
Ainulindalë: In the mouth it starts strongly with honey and is very syrupy and thick. The alcohol kick is strong even though it’s not supposed to be, and comes just after the honey. It then fades into vanilla, and brings along some green apples and some banana. Reduction brings a bit of a floral aspect to it at the beginning toning down the honey – quite good.
Coldorak: Medium in length and strength, leaving you with a piece of dark chocolate dipped in your espresso after a good lunch at the restaurant, with traces of cracked pepper. After reduction, the finish is more pepperish and oaky, putting chocolate and coffee on the back.
Ainulindalë: It finishes on a very surprising and nice note of bananas – the banana split kind. Vanilla and fruit! Medium length.
Coldorak: Quite a nice dram, uncomplexed but savorous, easy to drink, that I think does not get enhanced by a few drops of water. I’ve had better Linkwood, but at the kind of money asked for it, it’s a steal.
Ainulindalë: I recently came to like Linkwood and this one makes no difference. Rich yet subtle. It is a bit simple to warrant a better note but still – I like it for what it is!