Linkwood 1986 The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

Whisky Review # 772

Region: Speyside
Brand: Linkwood 1986
Bottled By: Duncan Taylor in 2012 as part of The Octave series
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky (Cask # 764541) - 67 Bottles
Age: 25 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.7% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Cask with Finish in small Octave Cask
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 150-170 (November 2018)
Buying Advice: ­čśÉ Good Single Malt. A bit simple given its age. P/Q ratio okay.


Golden Brown (Natural Colour)


Mature, Sweet and Woody. Be sure to give this Linkwood sufficient time in the glass as it opens quite slowly. It's a relatively simple nose. I expected a bit more complexity after 25 years maturation.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Straw/Grass, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Strawberry, Gooseberry, Raspberry, Oak, Dried Herbs and Earth.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Yeast, Caramel, Floral Perfume, Bourbon, Almonds, Citrus, Orchard Fruit, Milk or Yogurt, Brown Sugar, Tea and Licorice.


Bitter-Sweet, Medium Dry and Woody. A few Sour notes as well.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Green Apple, Pear, Kiwi, Cherry, Orange, Lemon, Strawberry Flavoured Ice Cream, Grass/Straw and Oak.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Floral Perfume, Caramel, Butter, Almonds, Ginger, Pepper, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Cloves and Licorice.


Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. A few Sour notes towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Malted Barley, Straw, Grass, Vanilla, Caramel, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Strawberry, Green Apple, Oak, Floral Perfume, Aniseed, Licorice, Cinnamon, Ginger and Pepper.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and that helps to open this Linkwood a little more. The general Aroma/Flavour profile does not change significantly though.

Rating: 84

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience:



The Linkwood distillery is located in Elgin and was founded in 1821 by P. Brown. Their Spirit has always been an important part of many Blended Whiskies. The only official core bottling is the 12 Year old Flora & Fauna. There are many independent bottlings around like the one I am reviewing today. The average production amounts to around 4 million litres per year. Linkwood is owned by the Diageo Group.

The Linkwood 1986 is a nice, relatively simple and slightly Woody Single Malt. I must admit I expected more complexity after 25 years of cask time. It's quite consistent from Nose to Finish but it misses the Wow factor. It does have body though and I can see why Blend producers would use the Spirit of this Speyside distillery. I must try and visit this Distillery in the future!

Jan van den Ende                                                              November 5 , 2018

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