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Benrinnes 11 yo 2008 & Linkwood 12 yo 2007 ‘Masters of Magic’ (2019, High Spirits, 46%)

Let’s continue with the reviews of the latest, beautiful series of whiskies bottled by Nadi Fiori (High Spirits), Masters of Magic: after yesterday’s one-two, today it’s the turn of two other Speysiders, namely Benrinnes and Linkwood, respectively 11 and 12 years old – Linkwood is aged in ex-sherry cask.

Benrinnes 11 yo (2008/2019, High Spirits, 46%)

N: quite aromatic, this one tends to be very clean and naked too, as the Macduff, with the spirit in evidence – here, however, there is more personality, and first of all we find a more perky fruity component: yellow apple, candied fruit, pear… Lots of citrus fruits, especially lemon. It loses a subtle note like cheese.

P: consistent with the nose, it attacks gently but gains strength over time. Definitely oily, still dairy scents; then a little honey and lemon, and notes of coconut water, when the locals cut the coconut on the beach. Did you like this little picture? If you didn’t like it, settle for a “acid milk and caramel” – but maybe whoever said these words had just ingested “acid, milk and caramel”. Herbaceous and vegetable, with notes of roots.

F: it starts by continuing that bitter track, seed oils, herbaceous, lemon seeds.

80/100 – not very different from yesterday’s Macduff, in the sense that it remains a fairly simple whisky and certainly very naked and young, but on the whole it seems more convincing to us – flawless, tastes like a good spirit, what more do you want?

Linkwood 12 yo (2007/2019, High Spirits, 46%)

N: the nose is surprised by an unexpectedly… peaty note: slightly mineral, not smoky but definitely earthy, peaty. In a Linkwood? It seems so… Did we drink too much? It reminds us of something between a sauna and a lighted fireplace in the room next door. Very soft for the rest, with a perfect Speysider profile: soft, sweet, fruity, with hints of kiwi and cedar. Yellow fruit sugar candy.

P: alcohol is integrated, and it’s very easy to drink. An earthy/mineral sensation continues, halfway between the pile of leaves and the peat – a delicious fruity component of ripe yellow fruit, lemon, a little vanilla and pastry sweetness is squadroned with great pleasure. Tea infusion.

F: sparklingly sweet.

84/100. A step forward in terms of complexity, it seduces with a complex and unexpected nose (that note that seemed peaty at first… we didn’t see it coming) and conquers with a palate that doesn’t live of flames, but thanks to this placidity makes this Linkwood seems a non-alcoholic juice, dangerously drinkable.

Recommended soundtrack: Stoilku – Black Magic Woman.

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