Review: Royal Brackla 14 Years Old 2000 – 55.26 Outdoor, masculine dram

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Royal Brackla Distillery

Bottling: SMWS Cask 55.26

ABV: 57.3%

Cost: £48.10 buy from SMWS

Score: 83/100

SMWS

What they say:

The nose was complex and interesting – sweet and spicy with some cosmetics and light struck match, plus an array of outdoor impressions (earthy, grassy, ripe fruits, wood sap, twigs and riverbanks). It seemed fresher with water (peach melba yoghurt, leaf mould, washing blowing in the breeze) though one panellist got a rugby player’s kit-bag. The palate however had massive, intense sweetness and mouth-scorching peppery, ginger heat – panellists reported Vimto concentrate and rhubarb dipped in brown sugar. With water, we found toffee, butterscotch, Old English spangles and ice-cream soda, with a few more masculine hints of mint tic-tacs, old wood and allotments.

Drinking tip: Benefits from water and the attraction is mostly in the taste – a drinker’s, rather than a sniffer’s, dram.

Date Distilled: 26 September 2000 Colour: Golden retriever puppy Age: 14 years Flavour : Spicy & sweet Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead Whisky Region: Speyside Findhorn Outturn: 313 bottles

SMWS 55.26

What I say:

Royal Brackla Distillery (SMWS Distillery Code 55)

Colour:

Full amber gold (9/20) medium-sized tears

Nose:

Light white wine vinegar, citric apple juice, cereal barley malt and flour, vanilla icing sugar, vanilla cream, zingy/pure icing sugar

Taste:

Honey sweet, zesty citrus fruits, orange and grapefruit zest and pith, vanilla cream, floral blossom, icing sugar, slightly fizzy like fresh apple, blackcurrant or grape juice, toffee or fudge with crystallized sugar pieces, a little oak wood

Finish:

Medium-short, icing sugar sweet, orange zest and cereal barley

Overall:

Short, sweet and zesty but in a rather different way than most of the young (NAS?) and relatively characterless stuff that may have been being released by certain official bottlers from other distilleries. This Royal Brackla expression does appear to fir the same flavour profile we experienced in the much older McKillop’s Choice expression giving us some sense of distillery character. I am interested to see how the recent official expressions from Dewar’s compare to these exemplars? Once again a great dram from SMWS capturing both individual cask character and also nature of the underlying spirit.