Single Malt Connoisseurs Club
ABOUT OUR SINGLE MALT SCOTCH CLUBS
Members of our buyers' club share an enthusiasm for the malt elixir in the most practical way, by saving time and money. No initiation or fees of any sort are charged. We simply ask that you undertake to remain in the club for the period of one year. As a club member you will receive a carefully selected, often unique bottling, complete with background information, shipped directly to your home or office every other month. The first club, the Single Malt Connoisseurs' Club, has a limit of $84.99, per shipment usually less, on the cost of the bottle itself. (Does not include tax and or shipping)
In July 2014 our members received:
A.D. Rattray Linkwood 16 Year Old Single Malt
A month ago, we were all set to send you a bottle of Caol Ila 10 year old until we came across this: A.D. Rattray’s Linkwood 16 year old. When we tasted it as a group in the round, we looked at each other and said to a person, “this is summer Scotch.” So the Caol Ila will have to wait till the fall. For now living is easy and Linkwood can, and should be, in your glass.
Linkwood as it currently exists has two distilleries that sit side by side, one that looks incredibly modern and the other a product of rubble construction of the 1870s. The distillery is located south of Elgin on the River Lossie in the Speyside, the region known for being the birthplace of MacBeth. Linkwood as a distillery can trace its origins back to a few years before whisky making was technically legal in Great Britain (1821). Linkwood had what can be called humble beginnings: its first iteration was capable of producing only 1,200 gallons a year. This, at right around 6,000 cases a year, would be considered small even by current Craft Distilling standards. This state of affairs by founder Peter Brown was continued until his death in 1868. Peter’s son William inherited the distillery and went about making his mark on the distillery. By 1872 he had demolished the distillery that his father had worked at for four and a half decades and by 1874 had rebuilt a substantially larger distillery in its place. It has been renovated twice more since then. Linkwood was temporary closed between 1941 and 1945 because of the barley shortage in Great Britain due to World War II. In 1962, the owners, Scottish Malt Distillers, completely refurbished the distillery.
The distillery that we have been talking about thus far is now known as Linkwood A, which is currently not in use. Its dark and century old buildings stand in somber contrast to the Linkwood of today, Linkwood B, all gleaming glass and white concrete. In contrast to its beginnings almost two centuries ago, Linkwood B produces 2.24 Million liters of spirit a year. This is largely accomplished with quite large stills: each of the spirit stills has a capacity of 51,000 liters, a number that would have been sure to flabbergast Linkwood’s founder. Only one to two percent of the production of Linkwood hits the market as single malt, the vast majority is used as a backbone for Diageo blends (Johnnie Walker, White Horse) and other company’s blends. Linkwood is able to balance the delicacy of aroma with a palate weight that is fresh, but not unsubstantial. They achieve this by the spirit stills being rounded and more plump at the bottom. They fill them low and give a longer distillation so the vapors dribble back down, stripping the unwanted characters. This gives the blends more texture and top notes.
The nose shows ample aromas of lemon zest, butter cream, marzipan, pine, star fruit and a light grassy note. The palate is light at first then slowly coats the senses with tropical fruits with suggestions of pineapple. A bit sweet, and a faint hint of smoke as well as a decent bit of spice. This is an excellent whisky for the summer! If you would like to pair this with food, try bread dipped in Dukkah (a spiced nut mixture, look it up it is delicious) with Camembert and pears on the side.