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Friday, March 8, 2019

Linkwood 29 year old 1985 Signatory for K&L, cask 450

And now another single hogshead of Linkwood. This time it's from Signatory's Unchillfiltered range, and was sold exclusively through K&L Wines.

I was looking for a challenger to Wednesday's very fine 16yo 1998, and here it is. A 29 year old with less evaporation (and yes, I'm taking the dilution into consideration). This sample came from an LA Scotch Club / K&L event that included one fabulous Springbank and one fabulous Glenlivet. Is that a promising or threatening sign for this Linkwood????

Distillery: Linkwood
Owner: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Lossie)
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Age: 29 years (26 November 1985 - 7 June 2015)
Maturation: Hogshead
Cask#: 450
Outturn: 201 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants

The nose is musty and malty, with mushroom and mustard. A bright fruit cocktail note merges with hints of vanilla and brine. It gets more candied and grassy with time. Fruity and malty on the palate too, with lots of lemon and lime. Pears, apples, vanilla and oak spices. The simple sweetness makes this a very easy drinking whisky. The youthful finish has all that citrus, along with apple/floral notes. (Sorry, I ran out of alliteration.)

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or ⅓ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose loses its old musty side, but holds on to the fruit and wood. Tangerines, fruit cocktail syrup, ground cardamom and vanilla. The palate gets louder. The citrus is sweeter. The malt is...maltier. More pepper, and the beginnings of something tannic. The sweetness nearly vanishes from the finish, leaving mostly pepper, salt and a little bit of grain.

Aside from the neat nose, this Linkwood reads younger than its age. Also apart from the sniffer, it's simple and light. I like a little more fight and complexity, so I don't recommend diluting this one. Also, adding water starts oaking up the place, which also happened when Wednesday's Linkwood was hydrated. As Jordan and Florin mentioned in the comments on Monday, there's definitely a vatted malt or well-aged blended whisky character present, especially in its flavors. Though the '98 Linkwood appeals more to my preferences, this '85 would always please a crowd.

Availability - all gone
Pricing - $199.99
Rating - 86 (neat only!)

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