This month’s Young & Spritely offering comes in the form of a 7 year old Braeval drawn from 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel.
Nose: Peaches tinned in their own juice, glace cherries and preserved lemons sit with digestive and pink wafer biscuits and sunflower oil. Running throughout, cut grass, angelica and dry earthiness. The addition of water adds some creaminess with Chantilly piped buns and crème brulee as well as fabric notes of clean cotton sheets and sack cloth.
Taste: The arrival is sizable and impactful – with some prickle from both alcohol and chilli pepper. Apple syrup and citric acid are sweetened by brioche, toast and rolled pastry. Spices emerge in the mid-palate – pepperiness with nutmeg. Water reveals a softer, sweeter and more herbal complexion – chives and cayenne with freshly polished oak tables and bright jammy oranges.
Finish: Medium with shortcrust pastry and fading wood spice.
Whilst this Braeval could be considered as an opener to an evening, it would nevertheless be rather the punchy starter. There’s plenty of impact here – from defined fruitiness and patisserie notes, to the high ABV which (fortunately) takes reduction well. Lively, vivacious and with plenty of depth for its age. If you’re looking for a bottle from the Young & Spritely category, this has quite a lot to commend it.