The Master #8: Linkwood 1996, 24 Year Old “HNWS” 54.8%

Join our own Chris Chambers as he discusses this fantastic bottle.


Given the number of whiskies in Scotland with a Gaelic name and/or the prefix “Glen”, Linkwood sounds like a strange name for a Scotch whisky distillery. Yet is is one of the longest-running operations in the country, producing since 1824 and named after the estate on which the distillery resides.

In 1932 it ended up in the hands of DCL (now Diageo) and has remained that way ever since, more or less continuously in production.

One of the lighter Speysides, this distillery is one of the many hidden gems in the Scottish landscape and an important blending malt. Despite its low profile, it was chosen as the official Single Malt of the Gathering of the Clans in 2008 – the first time in over a century where representatives of all of the clans of Scotland shared the same air. Not an easy feat to accomplish!

HNWS is short for Home Need Wines & Spirits, an independent retailer and bottler from Taoyuan, Taiwan. Owned by Mr. Tony Chiu, he has overseen the bottling of some quite remarkable whiskies. Established in 2005 following a stint at Macallan owner Edrington, he has grown into a well-respected whisky purveyor.

This Linkwood keeps to his high standards.


Tasting notes are a guideline only. Everyone may respond differently.


Sweet, fruity, a little peppery. Honey, tropical fruit and vanilla at the end.


Tropical fruits and honey, with some light grassy notes.


Fruity with hints of oak, great length.