SMWS Advent Calendar: Day 11

Another Advent Sunday, another live tasting with Tim (@singlemaltsnob) on Instagram. Even better this time around though, as Michiel (@whisky_in_a_labcoat) also joined the conversation. Tonight, we found a ten-year-old Linkwood – nicknamed April in Seville – in our glass, which was unanimously praised by all three of us. This particular SMWS offering has been aged in refill ex-bourbon barrels, which should allow the distillery character to shine through beautifully. I will admit that I find these tasting notes a bit harder to write, as I must do it all in retrospect. Thankfully the full video is live on on Tim’s Instagram page, so I don’t have to do it all from the top of my head. The notes may be a bit shorter than usual though.

Tasting Notes: Society Cask 39.230 “April in Seville”

ABV: 62.8% (125.6 proof)

Age: 10 years old

Distillery: Linkwood

Bottled by: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Category: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

SMWS Flavour Profile: Sweet & Spicy

Chill-filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Nose:

I found the nose very pleasant, but rather delicate. It reminded me of stepping into an open meadow in the woods. There are light floral tones, combined with fresh spring water. A babbling brook in springtime. Some light liquorice root and star anise also come to mind. But then suddenly I think of “oliebollen” with its fatty elements, the dough and the molten powdered sugar on top. And it just clicks. A few drops of water reveal “bitterkoekjes” a dutch delicacy that’s perhaps somewhat reminiscent of an amaretti cookie.

Palate:

This palate has a wonderful mouthfeel, it fills the entire mouth and slides easily down the throat. Giving you a wonderful sense of warmth. We also found plenty of candy like elements, with an old-fashioned candy store coming to mind. Old-school liquorice and wine gums show up very clearly. There’s also a pepper note in there that we couldn’t quite place. There’s some white pepper on the one hand, but there’s also a spice in there that makes it come closer to nutmeg. But the mention of “apekoppen” (a popular gelatine and liquorice candy from The Netherlands) from Tim is the thing that clicks the most with me in this dram.

Finish:

The finish has a medium long length. With all the flavour notes mellowing out over time. The nutmeg, white pepper, and hints of liquorice are still available in the finish and it’s pleasant enough that I wish it would last a bit longer. But I will settle for a good medium length finish, over a bad long finish any day. So, in the end I’m more than satisfied with the finish of this dram.

Verdict:

April in Seville is an enticing dram, with an alluringly playful nose. That feels like an invitation into the glass. Much like the nose of the Highland Park from a couple of days ago did, but in this case there’s no roaring beast lurking on the palate. Instead, it’s more pleasantness. It’s sweet and has a very nostalgic profile to it (reminding all of us of old-style candy shops, or in other words… our youth). It never becomes challenging or overcomplex for me, which makes it a very forgiving dram. I find this dram utterly enjoyable, but not the most spectacular of the bunch. I do firmly believe that this would be an absolute crowd pleaser in most settings though!

Rating:

88/100

How did I know this was a Linkwood? Just look at the code and find it in my SMWS bottle codes list!

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