Scotch Universe Linkwood Lunar Crater Humboldt 12 Year (2008) First Fill Ruby Port Wine Barrique

Scotch Whisky Review #287: Scotch Universe Linkwood Lunar Crater Humboldt 12 Year (2008) First Fill Ruby Port Wine Barrique

Image credit to /u/xreekinghavocx, his review can be found here.

Distillery: Linkwood

Bottler: Scotch Universe

Region: Speyside

Age: 12 year. Distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2020.

ABV: 56.9% Cask Strength

Cask Type: First Fill Ruby Port Wine Barrique

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/xreekinghavocx.

Color: 1.7, Burnt Umber.

Nose: You get a really intense berry jam. It’s just stuffed full of berries and cherries. I couldn’t pick out many of the berries individually, but blackberry is one of the notes that did come to mind. There are some spices as well, largely accompanied with the cherry notes.

Palate: Much like the nose, it’s a berry and cherry jam medley. Blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, and cherries all make an appearance. It’s all lightly spiced with baking spices. Adding some water doesn’t seem to change much here.

Finish: Quite long and spicy. There’s a lot of the baking spices as well as a numbing spice that reminds me a bit of Sichuan peppercorn. With some water, a creamier note pops out.

Conclusion: I generally wouldn’t consider Linkwood’s spirit to be one that can’t stand up to the rigors of various casks but this one caught me off guard a bit. There’s virtually none of the distillery character to be seen and only the port coming through heavily. The port influence is quite tasty, though a tad simplistic in the form of a spiced berry and cherry jam. The notes of Sichuan peppercorn right at the end are a real surprise and will wake you right up. Would I buy a bottle? Unlikely, though it’s good the total lack of distillery character is a bit disappointing.

Final Score: 79.

Scotch Whisky Review #287, Speyside Review #108, Whisky Network Review #430

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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