Linkwood, in Elgin - Speyside, is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland and was a significant producer in the latter half of the 19the century. Since 1971, much (and during certain periods all) of it's output is produced in a modern industrial facility with the same name as the original old distillery (but with the added designation "B"). There is no standard bottling (although for a time there was a Flora & Fauna 12 which was effectively so - but not currently). The gigantic output of Linkwood is sucked into the maw of blends: particularly Johnnie Walker Black Label - as Linkwood is a Diageo shop.
|Full gold in the glass|
That early 60s retro-fit was overseen by one Roderick Mackenzie who oversaw Linkwood until 1963. There's a lovely tale about him:
Roderick Mackenzie, distillery manager at one time, forbade the removal of even spider webs in case the quality of the whisky was adversely affected!.
Linkwood 26 1975/2002 56.1% Rare Malts
This current offering, long gone in full bottles, is still around as 3cl drams from http://whiskysamples.flyingcart.com/ - the sample wing of Belgium's excellent Bonding Dram. The time of distillation dates from back when distillery "A" was in full operation and "B" was a recent innovation.
Color: Full Gold
Nose: honeyed beeswax, rich vanilla cream w/a whiff of sherry, and a glory of bubble gum, white roses, oleander and a hint of orgeat. A paradise of floral and fruity esters. This is one you could gladly nose for hours.
|picture credit: http://forum.whisky.ee/|
The palate is in no way a disappointment here, but the nose is so meltingly, achingly beautiful that I almost cannot bear to actually sip it away or dream of adding any water. This is my first Linkwood. It's a stunner squarely in the Highland/Spey fruit basket flavor profile. What a luscious monster. This experience really helps me understand the Spey region's special place in the Scotch constellation.
This classic Speyside (and, often, Highland) flavor profile of honeyed intensely floral sweet w/ white fruit notes and citrus is, when the citrus combines, often referred to as "tropical fruits" - or even as "passion fruit" (as I've seen this issue noted). I get that - but as the roses and honey show up slightly before the tangerine citrus on the palate for me they register as two distinct flavor notes.