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1982 Gordon & Macphail Private Collection St. Magdalene (Linlithgow) 36 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 53%
Apart from Diageo's releases through the 1990s and just two official bottlings that we're aware of, Linlithgows are few and far between. Gordon & Macphail's Private Collection release was distilled in 1982 and bottled in 2019 from cask number 2092 (a refill American hogshead). Non chill filtered. 53% Alc./Vol. One only.Other reviews... In my book, St. Magdalene was one of the most complex malt whiskies ever, but I think it used to need higher voltages than just 40 or 43% vol. Which is the case here, so all should be fine… By the way this baby comes in a lovely wooden box covered with ‘points de Hongrie’ that would make for a gorgeous pencil (or iPhone) box. Let’s go buy pencils! Colour: light gold. Nose: quite astonishingly, we’re not too far from the Bladnoch as far as aromatic profiles are concerned, with a similar citrusness that works extremely well. Except that this is deeper, richer, and much more complex, and would range from jams and fresh fruits to sherbets and ice creams. We’re talking lemons and lime, bergamots, oranges, citrons, and probably angelica, lilies and rhubarb again. This fruity and floral freshness is simply fantastic, and for that we have to thank a relatively lazy hogshead. Thank you, Mr Hogshead. With water: ah, typical. Leather, herbal teas, tobaccos, old perfumes, potpourri, mushrooms… One cannot not think of the RMs, provided one’s tried any of those. Mouth (neat): bites you a bit at first, starting with an unusual lemon squash/washing powder/lemon honey combination, but the honey wins it and gets very complex, with some kind of honey cake with bits of bitter chocolate, tealeaves, black tobacco and then half a glass of artisan mead, or even chouchen, which is a stronger form of mead that they make in Brittany. The washing powder became clay, all for the better indeed. Oh and no I never ate any washing powder, but remember when we write ‘washing powder’, that only means ‘reminiscent of washing powder’. There’s no banana in whisky either. With water: wonderful notes of Riesling, rhubarb wine, a little liquorice, tobacco, grapefruits… Finish: medium, a tad drier and more on herbal teas, with citrus skins and more mead in the aftertaste. Comments: check! It’s well a wonderful St. Magdalene. And if you love mead, you’ll adore this. Agreed, mead is a little cheaper.
90 points - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com