Over to Braes of Glenlivet – otherwise known as Braeval. One of Speysider’s newer distilleries having been constructed in the early 70s. This Society bottling comes from a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel at 9 years of age.
Nose: Grassy with reeds, flax and ferns joined by spearmint chewing gum and orange segments. There’s an interesting chalkiness – akin to crushed paracetamol – this sits with toasted cereals and biscuit crumb whilst whipped cream and vanilla were joined by cocoa nibs and nutmeg spicing. Reduction introduced an assortment of biscuits – gingernuts, custard creams and bourbons. Now all that’s missing is a nice afternoon cuppa.
Taste: Much sweeter than on the nose. Tart apples and strawberry foam sweets alongside zesty nectarines. The development heads into baked cream and spongey chocolate cakes before offering chocolate malt drink and dusty biscuit offcuts. Pepperiness builds throughout, sitting with nutmeg. The addition of water further amplifies the pepperiness and adds stem ginger.
Finish: Medium in length with zest oranges, tangerines and nectarines alongside dry dusty oakiness.
A solid Braeval that delivers pronounced fruitiness and biscuit elements with a few thought-provoking additions along for the ride. Well-integrated and well-balanced – assuming you’re OK with the spicier side of things.