10 year old Linkwood that’s been maturing in a refill ex-bourbon barrel since June 2008.
Nose: Sweetness up first – cotton candy, lemonade and sugared lime juice. Then, a kick of yeastiness – warm ale, doughy buns and toasted bread. Finally, ex-bourbon led cereals and florals in the form of Alpen, almonds, desiccated coconut and freshly cut garden stems. Reduction introduces sage and green grass whilst adding stone fruit peaches into the mix.
Taste: The arrival is sharp and tart with bright fresh fruit notes of apple, pineapple and orange peel. A spoonful of confectioners’ sugar and a scattering of sherbet adds sweet zing, whilst ginger and chilli spices build. The mid-palate favours baked good – spongy chocolate cake and Maltesers tiffin, before a gentle pang of salinity brings up the rear. The addition of water expresses peach and guava alongside rosehips – all quite juicy.
Finish: The longer side of medium – fading pineapple and citrus with oatcakes and graphite.
This young Linkwood is quite the shapeshifter, altering composition with both oxygenation and dilution. Whilst initially fruit and sweetness are forward, these give way to deeper aromas and flavours which add nuance but never detract from the whole. Young & Spritely is far from my favourite Society flavour profile, but this bottling ticks a few surprising boxes for me. Quality distillate is, at the end of the day, quality distillate.