Whisky Review: Ben Bracken 27 Year Old 1989 Speyside
Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
Bottling: Clydesdale Scotch Whisky Co for Lidl
What they say:
Distilled in 1989, Product of Scotland. Ben Bracken distilled, matured and bottled in Scotland, Speyside single malt scotch whisky. Chill Filtered and matured in oak casks for 28 years. Distilled in copper pot stills in the centuries-old manner, it is then laid down in oak casks and matured, undisturbed, for twenty-eight years.
A magnificent lustre of honey gold and sandy highlights
Elegance personified as freshly baked banana bread, succulent grape pulp, Victoria plums and Crepes Suzette drift in profusion. A spectrum of unashamed enchantment opens up before you as another wave of fresh apple, succulent apricots, lemon grass and vanilla rolls out like a summer breeze. One final burst of honeycomb, rose hip syrup, jasmine and sandalwood completes this sensual sensation.
Sophisticated and intrinsically refined. The long years in the finest American White Oak ‘Quercus Alba’ seasoned with freshly filled bourbon has nurtured this aged Speyside Single malt to an outstanding panacea of perfection. Warm delicate flavours of fleshy Doyenne du Comice pear, moist Victoria cake coupled with coriander and a kiss of sweet pineapple linger lovingly in the background. The hand of time has truly tamed this rare beauty. Pure class in a glass!
What I say:
After the success of last years 28 Year Old Speyside Ben Bracken released by Lidl it was a no-brainer to try this 27 Year Old offering distilled in 1989. There are rumours that this single malt hails from the Tamnavulin distillery as casks were reportedly sold to the supermarket by Whyte & Mackay who (inadvertently) purchased the distilleries parent company whilst acquiring Invergordon grain distillery in 1993. An interesting story, however more important to our analysis was the fact that this expression and the previous 28yo one are delivered with identical tasting notes – perhaps a formula that the bottlers are trying to achieve whilst marrying these old casks?
Antique yellow gold (9/20), medium-fine legs and medium tears
Tinned fruits, pineapple, mango, papaya, citrus lemon, candied peel and Opies Lemon Slices, brown sugar and hints of icing sugar, honeycomb, cinder toffee, floral honeysuckle, buttery, ginger, lemon curd and pineapple cube sweeties
Smooth and silky, mid-light bodied, tropical fruits with vanilla cream or custard, pineapple, banana bread, rosy apple sweeties, ginger and cinnamon spices with a little white pepper, pineapple and coconut juice (a lot like Pina Colada!) quite sugary
Medium-long, tropical fruit, creamy soft toffee/fudge, honey & lemon drops
Fabulous on the nose, unfortunately on the palate this lacked the intensity of last years 28 year old expression and is rather more citric and creamy. To be honest I was quite unaware of anything that belied the age of this whisky other than that characteristic tropical fruitiness that only really appears after good ageing.
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