Linkwood 2008, Benrinnes 2000, Glentauchers 2009 (Maltbarn)

Linkwood 2008, Benrinnes 2000, Glentauchers 2009 (Maltbarn)

Maltbarn released a new batch at the end of 2023 – their list is well over 200 bottlings already! There were two armagnacs and three cognacs so the amount of whiskies is fairly modest: a Linkwood 2008, Benrinnes 2000 and a Linkwood 2008 exclusive to Shinanoya in Tokyo.


Linkwood 15 yo 2008 (51,7%, Maltbarn for Shinanoya Tokyo 2023, sherry cask, 146 btl.)

Nose: sherry? It is full of ripe apples and gooseberries, as well as sweet lemons and peaches. Muesli with bits of kiwi. A nice fruitiness, with moderate chalky / waxy notes and a few hints of flower petals. Pretty straightforward, but really nice.

Mouth: very fruity again, with a nice waxiness. Gooseberry, banana, green mango and apple. Sweet and sour citrus, with a hint of paraffin and honey. Light mint and herbal notes alongside subtle lemon zest. I’m guessing the sherry cask added a sweet and mineral hint but otherwise it is very subtle.

Finish: medium long, with the same mix of (greenish) fruits, oranges and mineral notes. A mild hint of white pepper too.

A no-nonsense whisky that reminds us of highly drinkable lemonade at times, and of Clynelish as well. Good selection. Exclusive to Shinanoya but apparently bottles are still on the way to Japan.



Benrinnes 23 yo 2000 (51,8%, Maltbarn 2023, bourbon cask, 127 btl.)

Benrinnes 2000 - Maltbarn Nose: obviously more depth than the Linkwood, although I think they’re not all that different. We find sweeter apricots and hints of tangerine, with oranges and a fine minty edge. This turns to eucalyptus over time. Then lemon balm and chalk, light buttery notes and vanilla, as well as some balanced old wood and whiffs of roasted coffee beans in the background.

a great oily texture, with sweet hints of (yellow) fruits. Peaches, lemons, sugared cereals and waxed canvas. Herbal honey and mineral / polished notes bring the sweetness down. Then it becomes a little darker, with bready notes, light cocoa, a hint of toffee and mocha.

Finish: quite long, with more malty notes, a peppery edge, honey sweetness and a drying herbal note.

This is quite a complex whisky, which unfolds nicely over time. Sometimes a 2 cl sample is not enough to get to the bottom of a dram. You may want to get a bottle and finish my work… Score: 88/100



Glentauchers 14 yo 2009 (54,4%, Maltbarn 2023, bourbon cask, 155 btl.)

Glentauchers 2009 - Maltbarn Nose: some (slightly artificial) foam banana sweetness with pear drops and a milky / yoghurty hint. Light caramel and plum eau-de-vie. Then some Haribo bears, white bread, green leaves and tinned pineapple in the background.

Mouth: bright and slightly youngish. Green fruits such as apples and pear drops, with gooseberries. Clean malty notes, a little dextrose sweetness and fruity syrup. Rhubarb jam. Then moving towards lime and mild baking spice.

Finish: medium, still solidly fruity, with a hint of sweet aniseed, sultanas and a bit of fresh oak.

An uncomplex but pleasant and rather flawless whisky. An easy drinker with a spring-like fruitiness. All three whiskies share a similar purity and fruity core, although they have their own accents. Score: 85/100