Well known to whisky connoisseurs, Linkwood is most commonly seen as an independent bottling, as owners Diageo only rarely issue official releases.
The original distillery was built in 1821 on the southern outskirts of Elgin by one Peter Brown. However, his distillery was completely demolished and rebuilt by his son William in the 1870s. A new stillhouse with four new stills was added in the 1970s andis now the focus of malt production – the old washbacks are the only part of the old distillery still in use today.
Linkwood is a part of Diageo's portfolio of distilleries, having been in the possession of Scottish Malt Distillers / Distillers Company Ltd since the 1930s. Shortly after the DCL takeover in 1936, the distillery was run by a superstitious Gael called Roderick Mackenzie, who famously refused to remove even the cobwebs in the stillhouse in case it affected the quality of the spirit.
Linkwood has long been prized by blenders, and the vast majority of production goes into Diageo's Johnnie Walker and White Horse blends. The standard expression is the Flora and Fauna 12yo, but this was joined in the official bottlings in 2008 by three double-matured versions that had spent their last 14 years of maturation in port, rum and red wine casks. Independent bottlings are relatively common and are frequently excellent value.