Country – Region: Scotland – Speyside
Distillery: Linkwood and Undisclosed
Type: Single Malt
Cask: Refill Hogshead
Number of Bottles: 220
Nose: Sultana, caramel, oak spices toasted bread, lavender. After water, orange blossom, Seville oranges
Palate: Creamy, orchard fruits, stewed apples. After water, honey, tangerine, stone fruits, peppers.
Finish: Vanilla, heather, honey sweetness, oak tannins, white peppers, baking spices.
When a friend texted me about this bottle at K&L Wines, I didn't look at the number of bottles they had and it was all gone when I looked for it. Luckily it was just pre-arrival and when the bottles hit, I got myself a couple. Old Malt Cask The Road To Elgin 27 Year Old is a blended malt Scotch whisky from the Speyside region. The reason I was excited about this bottle was the main distillery the whisky is from, the Linkwood distillery. A few years ago, when I was a buyer at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, the barrel I picked was also from the Linkwood distillery.
The Road To Elgin is exclusive to K&L Wines, one of California's leading liquor stores and they have been doing an excellent job when it comes to single casks, independent bottler picks and so on. This bottle is also not any different and an interesting one.
Why A Blended Malt?
You can be confused as I am mentioning Linkwood and it writes this is a blended malt whisky. Since the hit of the tariffs last year, there was an inevitable rise in the prices of single malts from Scotland. Though independent bottlers, producers found another ancient way to deal with it, 'Teaspooning'. The blend has a dominant malt from a distillery and a symbolic amount of another malt or grain whisky is added to the malt whisky to make it a blended malt whisky or a blended whisky which will make the tariffs disappear! This is also what this whisky is all about. A small amount of another Speyside malt whisky is added to malt whisky from the Linkwood distillery. This might make the bottle to sell harder but makes it easier for us to get a 27-year-old Linkwood for $150.
The whisky is aged in a refill hogshead barrel and bottled at 53.7% abv. There are only 220 bottles of this whisky released, so if you like what you are reading, don't wait too long.
How Does It Taste?
The first minutes were muted. I wasn't actually getting the flavors I was expecting from Linkwood. Some air opened it up and showed Sultana grapes, caramel, oak spices, toasted bread. The palate is very creamy with orchard fruits, stewed apples. The finish has vanilla, oak tannins, heather, white peppers and baking spices.
Then the magic happened! I added water to the whisky! Just a few drops, brought the beauty out. The nose exploded with orange blossom, floral notes, lavender, Seville oranges. The palate received a significant amount of stone fruits and a mouthful of pepper. The finish brought in some more sweetness and stayed there for a long long time.
If you like your Speyside malt, this is a must-buy! It is not a regular fruit-forward Linkwood, but it is energetic, frisky, wily, delicious and surprising. Just imagine that I have finished 1/3 of the bottle just for tasting purposes. I am lucky that I have multiple bottles.
Show me the road to elgin