Linkwood 12-year-old ‘Flora and Fauna’

Bought: Auriol Wines, 14th March 2016

94.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
82.48/100 – Whiskybase (average from 124 member votes)
86/100 – Ralfy (of and YouTube fame)

As someone who loves Linkwood, I’m wondering why it’s taken me this long to get the standard 12yo released by the Diageo-owned distillery. It gets a fantastic score of 94.5/100 in the Whisky Bible where the author says of the taste “a quite stunning delivery with some of the clearest, cleanest, most crystalline malt on the market. The sugars are angular and decidedly Demerara.” And summarises with “possibly the most improved distillery bottling in recent times. Having gone through a period of dreadful casks, it appears to have come through to the other side very much on top and close to how some of us remember it a quarter of a century ago. Sublime malt: one of the most glittering gems in the Diageo crown.” 94.5/100 classifies this malt as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”.

I believe Diageo now own 27 single malt distilleries and 2 grain distilleries so they have quite a grip on the whisky market. My Linkwood is part of the ‘Flora and Fauna’ series, which you can sometimes see at auction as 26 bottles from 26 of Diageo’s distilleries. One such collection recently appeared on Whisky Auctioneer where a final bid of £3,750 failed to meet the reserve. The lot was described as “The Flora and Fauna series of whiskies was originally created in the early 1990s by United Distillers Vintners (what would later become Diageo). Originally this range had no name and it was not until the famous whisky writer Michael Jackson nicknamed it the ‘Flora and Fauna’ series due to the labels, did it stick. The Flora and Fauna series, as offered in this lot, contains a total of 26 distillery expressions. Not all of these were released at the same time and many have now been discontinued”.

The crazy thing is that £3,750 is £144 per bottle where most bottles were only about £50-£60. Admittedly most have been discontinued but my Linkwood hasn’t and that was only £50. Two of the 26 distilleries are now closed, the Rosebank and Pittyvaich but they shouldn’t push the average bottle price up so high. One collection sold for £4,900! But I suppose it’s a complete series and that’s what people are paying for.

82.5/100 on Whiskybase is an above-average score with several members describing it as a nice summer dram. One taster summarises with “it’s a young and vibrant single malt with a surprising vegetal twist. The Linkwood expressions I tasted so far where all pretty sherry influenced so this is a nice change.” Another member adds “light and fragrant. Complex”.

Here’s Ralfy with his review of this Linkwood on YouTube (Sept 2017):

Linkwood Flora and Fauna 12yo 70cl

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