Braeval time with a 7 year old drawn from a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel.
Nose: Fruity and floral. Clean cotton sheets and freshly pressed laundry sit with a mango Solera ice lolly, whilst grape juice and desiccated coconut are joined by Greek yoghurt and a strange addition of baby powder. Water results in everything becoming a bit vague – far from unpleasant, but just an ambiguous combination of all-purpose white and yellow fruits.
Taste: Much bolder on the palate with tart apples and grapefruit slices leading into a building pepperiness. Burnt toffee and perceptible cask char are joined by an aromatic cardamom-spiced pear together with white bread and a pang of citric acid. Reduction works similarly to the nose – in that it doesn’t. Pineapple sweetness with banana peels, but a general sense of feeling a little washed out, despite the high ABV.
Finish: Short to medium with burnt toffee and drying oakiness.
A rather hydrophobic Braeval that offers more focus in its original state than when it is reduced. ‘As-is’ there’s a likeable fruity quality from the distillate that is welcomingly juicy – but diluted you just get the impression that this could have done with a few more years in the cask.