Royal Brackla 12 Year Old Scotch: On the 25th August 2015, John Dewar & Sons Ltd. unveiled a new range of proprietary bottlings from the Royal Brackla distillery. A few weeks back we looked at their 16-year-old expression and we were pleasantly surprised but felt it lack a little on the palate. Know as ‘The King’s Own Whisky’ because in 1835, King William IV bestowed ‘Royal’ status to Brackla – thus becoming the first ever Scotch to garner a royal warrant. Traditional production techniques help to protect a distilling heritage that spans more than two centuries and preserves the 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. Royal Brackla is finished in premium first-fill sherry casks, enriching it with notes of muscovado sweetness and dates, alongside opulent walnuts.
On the nose: are welcoming sweet notes of pineapple, followed by toasted oats, barley and toffee. These are closely followed by notes of a zesty nature as well as meaty note, cinnamon and fennel seed. There is a lovely spicy, herbaceous note wafting around in there, alongside peaches, sherry and a light waxy note. On the palate: there is a lovely initial taste of custard tart, followed by nutmeg, pineapple and cinnamon. There is a lovely creamy texture to it, alongside flavours of toffee, vanilla, a hint of almonds and some welcome spices, which is nicely finished with oatmeal and a suggestion of smokiness. The finish: is medium, smoky, with lingering toffee and oats.
The verdict: The Royal Brackla 16yo, was a delightful dram but it did require a bit of time to extract its full potential. However, this 12-year-old expression doesn’t need as much time before it come alive but what it does need is just a drop of water. It is a very easy drinking dram that has some delicately balanced notes. Bottled at 40% ABV, I do think this has taken away some of the body I’ve experienced from Royal Brackla. In my honest opinion, this 12-year-old really doesn’t require any water but to access the plethora of notes available a drop is required.
Royal Brackla 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch can be found in online of in-store at The Whisky Shop for approximately £50
For more information on this 12-year-old Royal Brackla, visit the official Last Great Malts website.