ABV: 57.9% Distillery: Royal Brackla Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Region: Highlands
Not seen an SMWS Brackla since last year’s Barrique fantastique – this one is a bit younger at 11 years of age and drawn from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. Sweet & spicy profile.
Nose: Gingerbread, milk chocolate and digestive biscuits conjoin with mint and earthy leafiness – mushrooms, heather and wet grass. Honey and red berries (raspberry and strawberry) alongside cream and meringue (Eton Mess time) add some sweetness. The addition of water further enhances the buttery biscuit (base) aromas, but doesn’t change the profile overall.
Taste: The arrival is very malty – loaves and Ovaltine alongside barley and multi-grain bread. There’s plenty of forest-lead flavour here – leaves, mosses and bark. Woodiness levels are high – oak chippings, old park benches and sawdust alongside vanilla and shaved coconut. Dilution adds a sense of creaminess as well as harking back to the biscuits from the nose.
Finish: Medium with toffee, damp soils and a touch of leafy greens. Dry.
This Royal Brackla is both malty and earthy. Unfortunately, it’s also rather oak-driven – nearly to the point of distraction. Not for me alas.
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