Royal Brackla Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 12 Years
What the Distillery Says:
John Dewar & Sons Ltd. has unveiled a new range of proprietary bottlings from Royal Brackla distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest and most venerable distilleries.
The new expressions of this regal single malt, ROYAL BRACKLA® 12 year-old, ROYAL BRACKLA® 16 year-old and ROYAL BRACKLA® 21 year-old will be available initially in 10 markets from September 2015; a regal opportunity to savour whisky fit for a King.
Standing on the fertile farmland of the Cawdor Estate, Royal Brackla Distillery was established in 1812 by the fiery Captain William Fraser who returned to the family farm after military service and took advantage of the fine barley it grew. Within 25 years his distillery’s reputation for spirit of sterling taste received its crowning moment when King William IV bestowed ‘Royal’ status to Brackla, in 1835. It thus became the first ever Scotch to garner a royal warrant, a revelation that led to its nickname: ‘The King’s Own Whisky’.
Traditional production techniques help to protect a distilling heritage that spans more than two centuries and preserves the unparalleled quality of a rather special spirit. To allow for the development of intriguing complexity and fruitiness, extra time is taken at the fermentation stage, which acts for up to 80 hours; far longer than most Scottish distilleries.
The notably tall stills run at an unusually slow pace. Their height allows plenty of reflux, with the leisurely nature of the operation increasing the contact that the spirit shares with copper, thus filtering out unwanted sulphury notes. Instead, delicate and lightly perfumed notes of grass and green foliage develop, alongside inviting fruity aromas. Crucially, the whisky is finished in premium first-fill sherry casks, enriching it with notes of muscovado sweetness and dates, alongside opulent walnuts.
Stephen Marshall, Bacardi’s Global Marketing Manager – Single Malts says: “This is the one that was described as ‘The Drink Divine’ by the Royal household in the 1830s, that’s no small claim, so we had to take our time and the entire team have done an amazing job that really does justice to Royal Brackla’s incredible heritage. There’s only one whisky in the world that can be the first Royal whisky, I feel privileged to have worked on this”.
The new portfolio consists of three age statements, each bottled at 40% ABV: Royal Brackla 12 Years Old, Royal Brackla 16 Years Old and Royal Brackla 21 Years Old. Each expression has been launched in 10 initial markets around the world including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Global Travel Retail.
Tasting Notes: Salute a superior Scotch: almonds, vine fruits, opulent spices; steeped in sherried richness. Ennobled nectar, fit for a king.
What Richard Says:
Nose: Green, nutty, herbal, and vegetal. The sherry is more understated on the nose but it is there too.
Palate: Oven toasted almonds, sherry forward, and Granny Smith apples.
Finish: Nutty and slightly spicy finish of medium length.
Comments: In recent years my tastes have moved more towards the robust kick that I find in higher proof whiskeys. This Royal Brackla is a bit of an enigma. It punches well above it’s weight for an 80 proofer. It is a nice, easy drinking, and versatile malt. It is great to see more single malts coming from the Dewar’s stable. I’m excited to try more.
Rating: Stands Out
We would like to thank Bacardi for sending over a sample for our review.