...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Linlithgow 28 year old 1982 Mackillop's Choice, cask 2206

Mazel Tov (good fortune!) to a great honest lifelong friend, his wife and their new baby boy! To celebrate, I unearthed a gem from the stash and, after a wee l'chayim, consumed it......in good health.

Built in the late eighteenth century on the grounds of a former convent and leper colony(!), St. Magdalene distillery cranked out single malt in the town of Linlithgow for nearly two centuries before being shuttered and demolished by a certain spirits conglomerate in 1983. St. Magdalene / Linlithgow was one of the last remaining Lowland malt distilleries before the weak market spelled its demise. Like its sister-DCL-destroyed-Lowland distillery, Rosebank, its output was mainly for blends, but its single malts are well-loved by that previous generation of whisky nerds who are even more pissed off than I am about the current whisky world.

This is my first St. Mag / Linlithgow. And if many other single malts by this late distillery were as good as this one, then I'd be proper raging too.

Distillery: Linlithgow (a.k.a. St. Magdalene)
Region: Lowlands
Owner: DCL (proto-Diageo)
Independent Bottler: Mackillop's Choice
Type: Single Malt
Age: 28 years (October 5, 1982 to April 2011)
Maturation: a cask
Cask number: 2206
Alcohol by Volume: 57.3%
(Thank you to Eric S. for this super thing.)

It has a light amber color, which is nice to see after so many years in the cask. Its nose moves forth on two levels with impressive balance. The Light: gentle tropical fruits, toasted oak, honeydew and apple pie. The Dark: soil, eucalyptus and hints of dunnage. Similar yin-yang on the thickly-textured palate. Plenty of barley; marshmallows and butterscotch, though moderately sweet; and late BIG citrus. This is met by hints of savoriness and wood smoke; soft heat and cool herbal bitter nip. The two sides come together in the finish as an herbal (basil?) candy that both cools and bites the mouth. Lemons and earth. A lengthy experience.

This is so good. (For another review, see the review by some whisky funyun.) This Linlithgow's duality plays out in every aspect of its nature. And I can't think of too many current whiskies that keep this balance. It's like old Balbair with some dirt thrown on it. It's also very light on the oak after 28 years, yet clearly not from a crap cask. I shouldn't have been worried that this one wasn't going to hit the mark, but I was. The pleasures of pessimism!

Availability - Happy Hunting!
Pricing - north of $500
Rating - 90