Linkwood 37 Year (1978)

Whisk(e)y Network Review #400: Linkwood 37 Year (1978)

Distillery: Linkwood

Region: Speyside

Age: 37 Year. Distilled 1978. Bottled 2016.

ABV: 50.30% Cask Strength.

Price: A lot.

Color: 1.2, Chestnut/Oloroso Sherry.

Nose: (according to the wife) Quite herbal. There’s herbal tea and a bit of hibiscus tea as well as a little bit of something that smells like Ricola cough drops. Pineapples, grass, and hay round this out.

Palate: At full strength, it is surprisingly quite hot and requires water. In general, it needs water as it’s quite a shy whisky. With a drop or two, you can immediately tell there’s a lot of fruity notes and some notes of hay but they seem quite restrained and closed off. As you add a little more water to it, it starts to come out of it’s shell to reveal a lot more. Green apples and pears come out. You get some apple cider as well as rosé wine. A little bit of rose water itself comes through as well. There’s enough malt coming through to keep things on the sweeter side, but it is a dry sweetness. Then, at some point, I seem to have hit the sweet spot for dilution as the fruit notes intensified heavily. A little bit of chocolate malt cereal comes through as well, which makes for a delicious dram.

Finish: Rather long and it warms your chest nicely. Apple cider goes on for days along with rose water and rosé wine. There’s a slightly musty note that comes through as well, which is quite pleasant.

Conclusion: For my 400th review, I’ve gone back to where it all began. While I won’t call Linkwood my first love in whiskey and while I probably wouldn’t rate that first Linkwood as highly now as I did then, it is absolutely what really sent me down the path where I am now. This 37 year release from 2016 is a rare distillery bottling from this Speyside giant. While it takes a lot of coaxing to get started, once it does, it is a fantastic representation of what how fantastic Linkwood can be. It’s a parade of orchard fruits, each building upon the other nicely. The bit of dryness from the rosé and floral notes helps keep this in balance. The little bit of chocolate that comes through helps set this apart by adding another dimension. All in all, a fantastic dram and I’m very happy to have tried it.

Final Score: 95.

Scotch Whisky Review #258, Speyside Review #100, Whisky Network Review #400

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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