I already had a pre-release sample of this baby and loved it. Colour: gold.
Nose: wow! It’s definitely got something of a 1971 or 1972 Clynelish, which is great news. Fantastic whiffs of ripe tropical fruits mixed with ‘Western’ garden fruits and a wee but very elegant smokiness (cigar?) as well as notes of polished furniture. Ripe apples, papayas, mirabelle plums, dried figs, pollen, a little walnut liqueur, old humidor, then apricot liqueur and fudge, mixed nuts, praline… Hints of old roses. What’s quite amazing is that the soft albeit firm oakiness prevents the whole from getting too thickish or ueberfruity. Simply superb!
Mouth: rich and even more Clynelishish (wah!) or even Lochside-ish (re-wah!) Perfect balance between the rich ripe fruits (no ‘fruitcake’ though) and the oak’s soft spiciness. Plums, apricots and oranges plus a little ginger, white pepper and nutmeg. Granted, it’s a little less complex than on the nose but that always happens with old whiskies. Almost.
Finish: long, prolonging the palate, maybe a tad more citrusy now. Oranges. Wee dryness and bitterness from the tannins in the aftertaste but that’s normal at 36 years of age.
Comments: extremely good. I also found notes of old Glenlivets in this baby, but comparison is no reason, is it? SGP:651 - 92 points.
Nose: Oh my. An amazingly fresh, lively nose considering that this is a 36 year-old whisky. Waves of fresh, tropical fruit on a bed of the most delicious toasty oak. This is from a bourbon cask and it really shows, with textbook vanilla and coconut, plus natural caramel, sweet bananas, pancakes with syrup, some polished wood and fruit toffee. It takes considerable self-control not to just start swigging straight away. One of the most enticing noses I've encountered in a long while. Amazing clarity and integration, and the fruit is sensational.
Palate: Mouthwatering. The oak is a powerful presence, but the clarity is still there and it never overcomes the fruit and natural sweetness. Very pleasantly warming at full strength
Finish: Lengthy, with fading sweetness and slightly drying mouthfeel in the way long-aged malts usually are, without ever tipping over into the nasty cardboardy notes of over-maturation.
Comments: Just delicious. Clearly from a bourbon cask to die for. Personally, this is one the most more-ish whisky I've tried, and prior to today I wasn't much of a Linkwood fan. This one has emphatically changed that. In fact, I seem to have topped up my sample twice...