Infrequent Flyers Linkwood 30 Years Old Chinquapin Oak Barrel Cask #564 & Dràm Mòr Linkwood 2013 Cask #303762


We've got a couple of independently bottled Linkwoods up for review.

Infrequent Flyers Linkwood 30 Years Old Chinquapin Oak Barrel Cask #564

Region: Speyside

ABV: 46.8%

Price: £350.00

This 30yo Linkwood was distilled in 1992 and initially matured in a refill bourbon cask before being re-racked into a Chinquapin oak barrel. It was bottled in 2023 in an outturn of 219 bottles.

Nose

 The nose opens with lemon balm, candle wax, marshmallow, toasted almond, leather and green tea. A very mellow alcohol sits behind these aromas, it does have quite an “old whisky” nose to it. We’re also finding dusty cupboards, varnished oak, vanilla ice cream and some chocolate covered gingerbread men. We’re definitely getting some interesting aromas coming through, a deeper, almost brandy-like note that we assume is a result of the additional maturation.

Palate

The palate begins with a lot of ginger ale, stale rye bread, moving into burnt toffee and dry oak staves. We’re also finding a little petrol, brown sugar and molasses as we come back to it. There’s very mellow alcohol when initially sipping, but a real ginger-led spice on the finish. The mouthfeel is fine, reasonably thick for the ABV but nothing to write home about, and we’re getting a little tobacco and dark chocolate on the medium length finish. Time and air brings out a little lime zest, honey nut cheerios and sugar paper.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose has candy necklaces, cardboard, dark chocolate fudge brownies, a hint of toffee too. It’s still quite bready, with wholemeal loaves, biscuits and waffle cones.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has a little more upfront sugar, we’re getting stroopwaffles, ice cream cones and cold custard. It’s lost a bit of oomph, but at the same time we’re enjoying it a bit more. It’s a touch too spicy on the latter part of the palate for us, but water had brought things together in a pleasant way.

Conclusion

We always enjoy the opportunity to try 30 year old malts, and this isn’t a bad representation, however there are a few parts to the dram that don’t quite gel with our palates. Some may like this more than us, so we’ll be fair and go with a 7/10.

Score: 7/10

Value

While pricey, we’ve seen other indie bottlers put comparable releases out at twice the price.


Dràm Mòr Linkwood 2013 Cask #303762

Region: Speyside

ABV: 56.8%

Price: £81.00

This release was distilled in 2013 and initially matured in what we assume was a refill bourbon cask before being finished in first fill bourbon barrel. 243 bottles were released.

Nose

We’re met with melted butter, icing sugar, nail varnish remover, lemon cake, pear brandy, soft peaches, candied mint leaves and ginger snaps. It’s got a dustiness we don’t often associate with younger bourbon matured Speysiders, giving it the impression of being a few years older. There’s also something floral kicking around in the background.

Palate

The palate has a lot of caramel and toffee brittle upfront, a bit of black pepper spice and some cinnamon sticks too. There’s also some vanilla essence, walnuts and chocolate too. We can tell that the finishing in a fresh bourbon cask has really added a punch of flavour to this whisky. The mouthfeel is nice, it’s got a syrupy texture, and the finish lingers on for a reasonable length, showing a lot of vanilla and oak spice.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose brings forward some stewed apples and pears, grassy hills, fabric softener and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Less of a distinct bourbon influence now and more of a fruity, earthy, slightly toasted aroma coming through.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate is very pleasant actually. Plenty of bourbon sweetness combo’d with some zingy citrus, mellow orchard fruits and some warm spice on the finish. The alcohol has balanced out a bit and it’s very quaffable.

Conclusion

We weren’t massively enamoured with the dram initially, but post-dilution, it turns into a lovely bourbon Speysider. The additional maturation has really given (what we assume to be a needed) oomph to the dram. 

Score: 7/10

Value

In terms of value, it feels slightly pricey for a release from Dràm Mòr, though they are not known to price gauge in our experience. We’d guess that the extra cost is due to the re-racking.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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