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Tucked just outside the Speyside region is the storied Brackla distillery. Back in 1835, this was the first distillery to be awarded a Royal Warrant, and thereafter was able to call itself ‘Royal Brackla’. The distillery was nicknamed ‘The King’s Own Whisky’, and although the style has changed, the quality remains fit for royalty. This juice has been aged for 16 years, with a finish in Oloroso sherry casks enhancing the dram’s depth and complexity.
Brackla was founded in 1812 by Captain William Fraser, who took a distilling licence partly to pull the rug from under the illicit distillers operating on his estate.
The spirit that King William IV enjoyed so much was likely of a very different nature to that we can taste today - for a start, it was peated.
These days, Brackla is typified by a highly fragrant, clean and verdant spirit, deliberately created by the distillery through slow distillation and long fermentation.
Royal Brackla 16 Year Old is an excellent rendition of the distillery’s whisky - complex, fully flavoured and well balanced.
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Lemon and orange oil leap out of the glass, with accompanying aromas of chamomile, lime leaves, earl grey, toasted walnuts, raisins and cut grass.
Even at 40%, this is a full mouthfeel, with flavours of marzipan and vanilla, more walnuts, toffee’d malt, clear honey, sugared oats, apple lollies, cherries and some balancing lemon juice.
Medium length with the return of the nose’s orange oil, freshly baked cakes and lingering Sherried oak. A whisky that rewards patient drinking.