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LINKWOOD 30 YO (1975/2005, OB, RARE MALTS, 54,9%)

We’re back in the Speyside, and here we face a historical bottling: this Linkwood is the oldest official bottling from the distillery, and it’s part of the prestigious Rare Malts series by Diageo. Colour is gold.

106443N: so open even if it’s 54,9%; very aromatic and intense, we’d bet on a bourbon cask maturation: there’s an exceptional creamy and buttery vanilla, the brioches, a lot of marzipan. Toffee. You then get a lovely bag of mixed fruit: apricots, pears, red fruits flavored gelées candies, orange peel. There’s also something tropical, pineapple?, and melon. 30 years brought also some woody notes, without being invasive but still giving character; it stays quite fresh indeed.

P: again very open, if it’s possible it’s even more intense, in a lovely, long lasting papillary loop (wtf…?). This is made of different blazes, divided into fruit bombs (peaches, apricots, pears, coconut) and a massive vanilla. There’s also a citrusy side that’s much more intense comparing to the nose, and it brings out light bitter notes. Wood makes his part, and it’s not just a sparring partner for sure, together with a lovely maltiness; everything seems to turn bitter, mostly towards the finish. Some dried fruit comes out…

F: …and on the finish lingers indefinitely, confusing itself with wood and a good, characterful malt.

 

It seems to be bottled at the perfect time, with the wood that gives some bitter notes but doesn’t overwhelm everything else, and some perfectly chiselled ripe fruitiness. Water is unnecessary, but makes the palate a bit creamier. Simple but very intense: 88/100 could seem too high, but this intensity keeps it in the top league. It didn’t cost that much, back then, but as you all know, Rare Malts are now collectibles. Shame.

Recommended soundtrack: Blue MinkGood morning freedom.

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