Review: Linkwood 15– Gordon & Macphail

Whisky Wednesday is upon us once more and today I packed this 15-year-old Linkwood in my camera bag. This whisky has been bottled by Gordon & Macphail for their Distillery Label series. I’ve noticed that through the years this bottling has been on the shelves with different ABV’s. I can’t speak to exactly which year this one was bottled (as it was a sample and I don’t own the bottle) but it seems to be one of the more recent ones with 46% ABV.

I always like picking up Linkwood samples, as it’s a distillery that often fits my palate well. Linkwood doesn’t bottle any whiskies under their own label, but there’s plenty available through independent bottlers. Amongst those the Flora & Fauna series and Gordon & Macphail are perhaps the most well-known. But other independent bottlers – like Hogshead and The Ultimate – have some amazing Linkwood’s on offer as well. Let’s find out how this Linkwood 15 by Gordon & Macphail stands up to the rest of them!

Tasting Notes: Linkwood 15 – Gordon & Macphail

ABV: 46% (92 proof)

Age: 15 years old

Distillery: Linkwood Distillery

Bottled by: Gordon & Macphail

Category: Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Chill-Filtered: Not stated

Natural Colour: Not stated


I’ve noticed it can become quite challenging to shoot a nice picture when each Wednesday brings a sky as grey as the last. Let’s just say that I’m looking forward to spring. Nonetheless I had a decent walk and this Linkwood proved to be a nice treat somewhere halfway through my hike. Back home I poured the remainder neat into my glass, and I set off to write my review with some live recordings of Kaleo on the background.


Green grass, fresh juicy apples, pear popsicles, and dried apricots. Remember how I felt myself longing for spring? Well, I’m finding it on the nose of this dram. This nose feels like that first day during spring, when you can go outside in your t-shirt again. There are some definite sweet elements in there as well, making the fruitier parts of this nose almost come off as a marmalade at times. And in the back, I’m even finding some strawberry lemonade. Adding some water ramps up the sweeter elements on this nose, nudging it towards honey-drizzled pineapple.


The initial touch of spirit on the tongue is rather light, and the grassy notes of the nose reappear. But as you spread it through the mouth it quickly makes way for candied fruit flavours. Candied orange peel, Haribo peaches, and a slight liquorice note are all present. But there’s some spice here as well, as I’m picking up on white pepper, nutmeg and just a touch of cinnamon. There are some tannins in here too, but the sweeter notes do a good job of covering it up, making what remains in fact quite pleasant. Water mutes the tannins quite efficiently, but it does take away some complexity in the dram as well. It puts more focus on the liquorice influences, and perhaps on some honey as well.


The finish has a medium length with notes of dark chocolate, oak, caramel, and cherries. The caramel note makes me think of a Werther’s Original, and it’s a much-appreciated note in this finish as together with the cherry note it keeps the finish from going too dark and intense. The cherry note is a black cherry, and since that’s my favourite fruit by a distance this dram is scoring some definite points there. The dark chocolate note is quite balanced, and it doesn’t feel like you’re biting into a bar of it, instead it’s more reminiscent of a layer of dark chocolate on a good quality bonbon. Seeing as there’s also a cherry note in here it’s not hard to imagine a cherry bonbon while enjoying this dram. Water shortens the finish and mutes the flavours too much for my liking. It does give a certain buttery quality that remains throughout the finish.


This Linkwood 15 by Gordon & Macphail is another reason why I will keep being on the lookout for bottlings from the distillery. I almost always find them pleasing and with more than enough quality and bang for your buck. When it comes to bang for your buck this Gordon & Macphail offering does fall a bit short I must say, as its current going rate lies around 80 euro a bottle. For that amount of money there are surely better options out there. Better Linkwood’s even. I did enjoy the time I spent with this sample though, and I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed flavour wise.





Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes. And how I determine rating and value.

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