All about making whisky
Founded in 1821, Linkwood did not begin producing whisky until 1825. Located in Speyside, it remained in the hands of the Brown family until the end of the 1960s when it was destroyed, before being rebuilt in 1872. Following in the footsteps of many other distilleries, it fell into the hands of the Scottish Malt Distillers company in 1933 and played an active role in the development of numerous blends, including Johnnie Walker, White Horse, Haig and Bell’s. The majority of the existing single malt expressions from this distillery are produced by independent bottlers including Signatory Vintage and Gordon & MacPhail, who offer a variety of bottlings matured in sherry casks. An official bottling was introduced at the end of the 1990s: The Flora & Fauna Linkwood 12 Year Old, alongside a handful of other versions for the Rare Malts range.
This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.
As its name suggests, the Rare Vintage range is quite simply a collection of rare, old vintages, and includes a substantial number of Gordon & MacPhail’s most sought-after single malts. Closely linked to the Distillery Labels range (the Rare Vintage bottlings also served as semi-official releases for several distilleries which had not had any proper official releases on the market for quite some time), the Rare Vintage bottles are to a large extent responsible for this historic specialist’s reputation.
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