Whisky Review #134: Linkwood 1973 12 Years Old

My reviews have become rather sporadic in nature over the last few months, partly for the usual reasons and partly due to the fact that I am currently recovering from surgery.

That being said, the hope is that I once again find the time and the momentum to get back into the groove of things in order to be able to provide more reviews of interesting and delicious whiskies.

This week’s review focuses on a rather exceptional expression from one of the unsung heroes of the whisky industry, Linkwood. This is the quintessential workhorse distillery which was built for the sole the purpose of providing bulk whisky for blending, but while it is an absolutely integral part of many blends within the Diageo stable, it has been released as a single malt in an official capacity on several occasions.

This expression was distilled in 1973, matured for 12 years and bottled at 43% abv as an official bottling by the distillery for John McEwan & Co. Ltd. The year of distillation is rather significant as it means that this expression was distilled at the old part of the distillery which has since been demolished.

The old distillery also utilised worm tubs to condense the spirit vapours, which means that this expression is definitely bound to be heavier than its modern counterparts.

So, let’s jump right into the review!

rhdr
Linkwood 1993 12 Years Old

Linkwood 1973 12 Years Old (Bottled at 43% abv)

Colour: Bright gold

Nose: Initial entry presents hints of green leaves, dry white wine, juicy grapes and a hint of rancio, followed by barley sugar, grist, beeswax, floral elements and some oak. The oak becomes increasingly pronounced over time and there is a hint of white pepper in the mix. The rancio becomes more prominent over time as well, with some sulphurous notes lurking in the background. (23/25)

Palate: Initial entry presents a rather pleasant fruity sweetness, with barley sugar, white grapes, dry white wine and some kiwi intermingling well with the rancio hints, oak, grist and white pepper. With time, the floral elements from the nose emerge alongside honey, beeswax, green cigar leaves and pineapple. (23/25)

Finish: Long and lingering finish, with the rancio, oak, white pepper and green cigar leaves intermingling beautifully to provide a complex and multi-faceted close to the proceedings. (22/25)

Balance: An exceptional representation of the old Linkwood style, with the rancio being the star of the show here. The mouthfeel is initially oily, but does become rather drying over time as expected. A big whisky with a great character. (23/25)

Rating: 91/100

This expression was sampled during WhiskyPlus in KL and it was definitely the most memorable dram from everything that I had tasted during the show. This is very likely the best Linkwood that I have tasted thus far and it is definitely something that I will not forget anytime soon.

Until the next review, have a wonderful week ahead.

Slainte!

Brendan

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