Review #769 | /r/Scotch Review #260 – Linkwood The Exclusive Malts 18yr 1997
The Schtick: This was sent to me as a blind sample. I reviewed it live on the official Whiskey Network Discord server and got the reveal so that I could type up this review.
Bottler: The Exclusive Malts (IB)
ABV: 46.3% ABV
Age: 18 Years
Nose: Sticky and sweet. Cocoa, syrup, maple, molasses. Nutty toffee, fruits, sherry. Tobacco, stewed fruits, some mild funk. This is absolutely cloyingly sweet on the nose.
Taste: Really sweet. Almost unnaturally so. Sugar, fruits, caramel, cocoa, some mild heat, medium mouthfeel. Maybe some port influence.
Finish: Short, fruity and sweet. Did I mention it is sweet? Cola, cocoa, leather, toffee, pepper, still really suspiciously sweet.
Overall + Guess: This is weird and entirely too sweet to be natural, in my opinion. The best guess I’m left with is a weird rum I’ve not had. 4-7 years old, dosed, 43% ABV – 48% ABV. Maybe my palate is shot. It’s possible. It’s just too sweet to hit my interest, really. Coming off of the Bunnahabhain 14PX, it’s saying something if I find this too sweet.
Reveal: Linkwood The Exclusive Malts 18 Year, 1997. Wow. Didn’t see that coming. When I look at photos, it makes sense, though. This is unnaturally dark, and there’s definitely some cask shenanigans going on. I understand now that I’m doing research that this is a pretty hot bottle, but I just can’t get the appeal. It’s like dosed rum for scotch drinkers, and balance appears to be a concept best tossed out the window. At least I got the proof guess right, though… anyways. Super cool experience, and again the merits of blind tasting are proven.
Thanks for reading!