Exclusive to The Oak Barrel in Australia, this is a Linkwood finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks bottled by Wilson & Morgan.
One of our favourite distilleries, we've loved what the Italian bottlers have done with it in the past and this time the expression is at 58%.
A year in the PX cask has given this the raisiny aroma of the Spanish dessert wine.
It’s a flowery whisky with a marked fruity character: candied oranges, apricots, and a hint of dried dates and figs. Full bodied, slightly winey at the nose, it has a buttery and fat mouthfeel.
Despite the high strength, this is still Linkwood and that beautiful, creamy texture remains.
The initial malty firmness, with toasted cereals and even a touch of beeswax, is soon matched by pastry-like sweetness, but the style turns spicy and lively towards the end.
A little water will release its fresher and drier aromas of blood oranges.
Wilson & Morgan dates back to wine and oil merchant Giuseppe Rossi, the grandfather of current chairman Fabio Rossi. The business expanded to Scotch whisky in the 1960s and then premium blends, direct from the distilleries in the 70s. Pushing into single malts in the 80s under the banner 'King Of Whiskies', Fabio launched the Wilson & Morgan Barrel Selection label in 1992.
Linkwood was founded in 1821 by Peter Brown and started production in 1824. It passed to his son William in 1868 and eventually to Scottish Malt Distillers (part of the company which would become modern-day Diageo) in 1932.
By then the distillery had already established itself as one of Scotland's finest. In a notable 1924 blenders report it was ranked in the top group of malts, alongside 11 others that included now-household names like Macallan, Glenlivet and Glenfiddich. Such is the demand by blenders still to this day that Linkwood does not have a regular official single malt release outside Diageo's Flora & Fauna series.
Although historic, the distillery has been refurbished a number of times. It first occurred in 1872 when William Brown demolished and rebuilt the entire site of the then-independent distillery, and more recently under Diageo's ownership when a new distillery 'Linkwood B' was built in 1972-73. (Linkwood A closed in 1985 but re-opened between 1990 and 1996 to produce a small amount each year.)
A favourite of The Oak Barrel, Linkwood is fresh and vibrant when young, often showcasing cut-grass and fruity notes, and with age gains complexity and weight. It's a whisky appreciated for texture as well as flavour.
A long fermentation (65-to-105 hours) and slow distillation help eek out these famous flavour and textures. Uniquely, the spirit stills are larger than the wash stills to encourage copper contact.
- Single Malt