Linkwood 13yo 1990/2003 (43%, Jack Wiebers Whisky World, Castle Collection, Cask #1922, 120 bottles)

This time we will have a look at a Linkwood from the rather obscure Castle Collection by one of Germany’s finest: Jack Wiebers Whisky World. Not a lot of pictures can be found of any bottle from this series. I still have the Linkwood bottle, but it is rather empty, so not so nice for a picture. Alas no true picture of this particular Linkwood. Most Whiskies for this series were reduced to 43%, although the odd cask strength version does exist. Besides reduction it doesn’t seem to me, that the whole cask was bottled. Usually only around 105 to 120 bottles are bottled per bottling. Yes I did that on purpose. It’s rather hot today.

Castle CollectionColor: Light gold.

Nose: Spicy oak and vanilla. We know already what that means don’t we? Next aroma is quite meaty. Diluted gravy combined with a salty caramel or toffee note, Just like the previous Linkwood this has some sort of herbal smelling wood. This also has a freshness that borders on ozone. Have you ever been in an ozone cleaned pool? Right after that the Whisky becomes more floral and retains its freshness. Creamy, powdery, not spectacular but at least very decent and reliable.

Taste: Light, very light, slightly alcoholic and fatty. Still meaty though and right after that some water diluted licorice. The wood turns slightly acidic and even a bit bitter. A kind of bitterness that is not welcome every time around, if you ask me, especially when combined with a floral note. But hey, that’s Whisky. It’s spirit aged in wood, and sometimes the wood impairs wonderful flavours to the spirit and sometimes not so great. Vanilla and watered down, molten vanilla ice cream and flower-water. Spicy and herbal again. Simple, so not a big body on this one. Short finish too. For me a bit too light and weak, but I’m not convinced it would be better after less reduction, or even at cask strength.

This Linkwood is pretty simple and straightforward and it is sold that way in a reasonably priced series and reduced to 43% ABV, to cut the cost even more. Not great, even with this nice nose, but not bad either. I imagine this to be emptied in one evening over a game of poker. It beats a lot of overpriced NAS bottlings of today though.

Points: 78

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Macduff 38yo 1967/2005 (50.8%, Jack Wiebers Whisky World, Old Train Line Collection, Sherry Cask #619, 204 bottles)

The Old Train Line series is probably the series with the most beautiful labels I know. The series is bottled by German bottler Jack Wieber based in Berlin.

Macduff itself is not thát old, just founded in 1962, with production starting just one year later. Macduff started out with only two stills. Sometimes a still was added, and today, Macduff has five. Since Martini was once an owner of Macduff, the malt is popular in Italy and the rest of southern Europe.

Color: Brown

Nose: Meaty and minty. Gravy with tar and old wood. Very perfumy too. It’s a meaty tea, that shifts a bit into coffee territory. Hard pressed powder candies. Very distinct, not to say unique. Also the wood plays a very unique role here. Mens cologne.

Taste: Minty wood. laurel licorice combined with the powder from the candies. Not sweet, but there is a lot of sourness from the oak. Mocha coffee with honeylike wood spice and black coal. Wow, this has a very heavy beerlike finish. After giving it some time, some black fruits emerge in the finish. Dry.

Try to imagine a Macduff with a lot of color from a sherry cask. Now try to imagine how it would smell and taste like. Do you have it? Well, this is nothing like that! This will surprise you. That’s nice. Still the balance isn’t quite there. And the finish is strange, soap, spice and a lot of beer, and rather short too. It’s definitively not a big sherry monster, but it does come across as a very old whisky. Dying to know what kind of Sherry this cask held before.

It does need a lot of time to open up, tastewise, for the nose the oxidations does nothing. Give it time and you’ll be rewarded.

Points: 88