This Linkwood has spent 11 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead before being re-racked into what is slowly becoming a Society favourite – virgin oak with a heavy toast and medium char. Spicy & Sweet profile.
Nose: Biscuits with burnt edges, pancake batter, reduced pan sugars and demerara all reinforce a sense of over-reduced/over-cooked bakery. There’s a fair whack of wood here mind – freshly sawn planks, broken green twigs and autumn leaves. Water again shows how well named this expression is – biscuity cheesecake base, crumble topping and outright McVitie’s Digestives.
Taste: A powerful arrival that rather necessitates dilution to cut through the alcohol. Dusty but still sappy wood, intense pepper and vanilla put the cask front and centre. Behind this some pleasant tropical – spit-roasted pineapple and foam bananas. Once reduced, there’s much more balance here – biscuits are back (in chocolate form), along with waffles and freshly baked brioche buns.
Finish: Medium to long with pepper and a fair whack of sticky drying tannins.
Whilst there is an abundance of biscuity aromas and flavours here, behind that, the cask is going most of the talking here. That doesn’t make this unpleasant (far from it), but it does result in a dry and oaky whisky that feels like it’s taken on too much of its Virgin oak finish – rarely my style – your mileage may vary.