Diageo hasn’t put out a Special Release bottling of Speyside’s Linkwood in eight years (and only one other one before that), and for 2016 it’s got a doozy: 37 years old, distilled in 1978. The whisky was aged in a mix of refill American oak hogsheads and refill European oak sherry butts.
A clear standout of this series, this malt hits the ground running in perfect stride. A heady nose of rich malt, brown sugar, vanilla, baking spice, and butterscotch all melds together beautifully, its light sherry character batting at the edges of a bold, well-aged aroma. On the palate, the whisky is lighter than expected, though the rounded, caramel-soaked grains at its core can’t be missed. Beyond this sweet-and-savory entry come notes of orange peel, lemongrass, cloves, and a touch of sea spray. The finish echoes just a hint of clove oil, a lightly bitter companion to the complexities that have come before.
Linkwood is a perennially underrated distillery, and here it shows what significant age can do to elevate an already high-grade whisky.
100.6 proof. 750 bottles available in the U.S.
A / $900 / malts.com