James MacArthur Linkwood Tasting Notes

Posted: September 9, 2011 in Linkwood, Scotch Whisky A-G

James MacArthur Old Masters Linkwood 2001 (14 year old) 61.3%

Bourbon Cask 11980/ Dist: 2001 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Dec 2014

A very grainy and oily nose. A little thin but it has some pleasant barley’d moments along with a touch of herbal, fudgy oak.

The palate opens with dry barley husks and oily vanilla. A little muted and grain like with the alcohol masking the finish. However the after-taste is lightly juicy but a bit bitter.

With water the nose becomes fuller with some dusty barley and a little juicy citrus. The palate is unfortunately flat and oily with a touch of cardboard and a little hot on the finish still.

James MacArthur Old Masters Linkwood 1989 (15 year old) 54.0%

Bourbon Cask 2010/ Dist: 1989 Btl: 2004/ Tasted: Dec 2006

A lovely, gentle complex, aromatic, nose of floral, apricot fruit , garden fruits,  stone fruits, apple and a touch of vanilla which develops an earthy light toffee note.

Soft and light on the palate with pure apricot, grass, garden fruits, light spice, and vanilla. Lovely depth with botanical notes on the finish. A drop of water really emphasises the apple and garden freshness of the nose and the clean vanilla overtones. On the palate it rounds it out filling the mouth with a delicious, light fruitiness. All round an excellent bottling.

James MacArthur Old Masters Linkwood 1989 (18 year old) 50.1%

Bourbon cask 2011/ Dist: 1989 Btl: 2007/ Tasted: Oct 2008

What a nose! It opens with aromas of chocolate/ coffee liqueur followed by a huge wave of orange and tangerine fruit and citrus oil. All backed up by the wonderfully creamy vanilla oak. A supremely inviting nose with a slight perfumed/ floral edge.

The palate is like the nose, big, juicy and luscious with a slight grassy and earthy note. The alcohol is kept in check beautifully by the sweetness of the fruit. With a drop of water it becomes crisper and cleaner, emphasising its citrus and floral character. In conclusion this is the definitive fruity Speysider!

James MacArthur Old Masters Linkwood 1998 (12 year old) 54.6%

Bourbon Cask 11650/ Dist: 1998 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Aug 2011

A crisp, fresh nose of brittle honey with a touch of heavy oils. Quite alcoholic with some lovely perfumed barley moments. Unusually there is a hint of something phenolic in the background.

The palate opens like the nose with the brittle honey followed by some lovely barley sweetness and gentle oily spices, which build with the alcohol, ending in a mouth-watering, slightly grassy finish.

Water makes the nose gorgeously soft with more of the typical Speyside citrus and grass notes showing. It seems a tad older now with the heavy oils and wood notes relegated to the background. The palate is softer has an icing sugar dénouement. The latent vanilla arrives and it has become quite fleshy and mouth-filling. A beautifully gentle length. Very enjoyable!

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