Secret Spirits Advent Calendar Day 1 – December 1st
1997 “Citrus Burst” Linkwood 16 y.o. (Wemyss Malts)
Cask #7189 Bourbon Hogshead
A whisky from the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar First Edition.
This is a heck of a surprising dram from Speyside’s Linkwood distillery. If you’re scouring your local spirit seller, you’re apt to realize quite quickly that this is not a distillery that boasts a very high profile. It is however one from which it is imperative to track down whisky at some point in any acolyte’s never ending whisky journey, as I’ve tried some rather special Linkwoods over the years.
Additionally, for a wee bit of fun (at least for this whisky geek), this release is the first independent bottling I’ve ever tried by Wemyss Malts. If this malt is any indication, Wemyss and I should have a long and happy future together.
Truth in advertising for a change? Wow. Novel idea. The ‘nickname’ on the bottle is a misnomer by no means. This is indeed a citrus burst of a dram. Don’t expect a tart lambasting of the taste buds, however (or an astringent nasal spiking). This is actually a much softer whisky than the name would belie, bringing a very well-rounded attack and what I can only imagine would be almost universal appeal. Light…fragrant…infinitely sippable.
A great start to the calendar, and the Christmas season.
Nose: Cinnamon and ginger. Citrus notes, as we’d expect with a name like this. Maybe orange and lemon zests. Trifle-like dessert notes. Lemon muffins. Slightly floral. Perfumed, even. Cranberry jelly. Almost ‘Lowland’-ish. Spice pantry. Nice nose, in all. Clean, with broad appeal.
Palate: An almost custard-like arrival. Moves into tangy fruit filling, before the spices explode. There are some strong bread/grain notes that serve to remind just what the heart of this drink really is. Syrupy canned fruits. Finishes on notes of grains…like chewing raw barley. Sweet and lovely.
Thoughts: A sort of ‘old school’ malt, in its own way. Very easy drinking though. I can see this being a great gateway malt. More sophistication here than you’d initially suspect.
Bonus: My mate, Jonathan, and I are gonna blog on these drams side by side through the season. Here’s a link to his notes on the same whisky at SingleMalting.com.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt