18 May 2012

HTFW Linkwood 22 Year Old "A Lush Indie Link"

Taking into consideration that around 98% of the whisky produced at the Linkwood distillery is destined to be component parts in a whole gaggle of Diageo blends including Bells, White Horse and Johnnie Walker, you wouldn’t necessarily think that you’d be bowled over or spoilt for choice for its single malt offerings.

Infact apart from its standard 12 year old and a trickle of other bottling’s, that’s pretty much your lot, unless of course you look in the more plentiful direction of your local or online independent bottler.

As with that other great and much sought after blend component Teaninich, Linkwood is a true testament to the quality of whiskies that go into producing blends, and also makes for in my opinion one of the most consistent and bang for buck distillery offerings available from independent bottlers over the last couple of years.

Continuing my quest for all things Linkwood and indie, I was recently fortunate enough to sample the new 22 year old offering from ‘Hard To Find Whisky’. Not only is this their first independent bottling release, it also just happens to be a dram fine one!

The nose kicks off with a swirling symphony of freshly juiced ortanique’s, green apples, overly ripe pears and a splash-ette of undiluted orange squash. Followed by a generous dollop of homemade spiced cherry compote.

Freshly baked Danish pastries and almond croissants make for the next set of nasal niceties, along with a frothy chocolate malted milkshake and a subtle confected infusion of warm fudge and Fry’s Turkish delight.

The palate kicks off with a full on fruity assault of Washington Red apples, zested clementine’s, spiced preserved lemons and baked pears covered in a thick dark chocolate sauce. Followed by a thumping full throng of heavily wood spiced golden syrup, which intensifies even further the longer it’s left in the glass.

A big wedge of Black Forest gateau and a frangipane-less Mr Kipling’s bakewell tart make for the next set of palatable pleasures. Followed by a carousel of winter spices, spring greens covered in peppered crème fraîche and a subtle hint of inhaled menthol oil.

The juice from a tin of lychees, a handful of macadamia nuts and something rather dry perry-esque finish off the pleasurable protuberances on the palate. Before it then heads off for its long lingering finish, which delivers a wealth of syrupy, tannic, dry and delicious wonders.