Today I am going to taste the Linkwood 12 y.o. Manager’s Dram, which was bottled in December 1999. This rare whisky is selected by the malt distillery managers within United Distillers & Vintners for staff only.

The Linkwood distillery is situated in Elgin, in the Speyside area. It is not a very well known distillery, that’s because most of the whisky is used in blends like Johnnie Walker or White Horse. Only 1 or 2% is used for single malts and most of that goes to independent bottlers.

I am a big fan of the single malts of Linkwood and hopefully this will be as good as I think it will be. So let’s get the party started.

This Linkwood has matured in refill sherry casks and is bottled at 59,5% ABV.

Linkwood 12 y.o. Manager’s Dram tasting notes:

Nose: Sweet fruits, appels, pears and some integrated saltiness. Tinned pineapple with a zesty / lemon freshness. This rises after a while but all coated with some sweetness. With water it doesn’t improve much, it gets a bit more rounded and sweet. The saltiness is gone now.

Taste: Pepper, lemon, vanilla, caramel. Some kind of grassiness and salt. Limestone and salty, very salty! Now it works really well but you have to like that kind of profile. I can’t find the typical Linkwood profile. This salt might come from the alcohol. It improves with water, the saltiness is almost gone and I get a bit more zesty and lemon tones here.

Finish: At first you get some liquorice and caramel. Ending in a very long peppery finish.

Where the nose promises a sweet and salty dram the taste leans much more to the salty side. I can say this is a very fine and complex whisky and I enjoyed it even more with a few drops of water. It isn’t for sale in a shop, but it still can be found on a auction once in a while if you are lucky.

This tasting note is updated after an initial review in 2015.