I thought a good way to start the reviews of 2016 would be with one of the favourite malts that I tried over the festive period.
Royal Brackla 20 y.o, Rare Malts Selection, 59.85, IB, Bottle No 6628.
On the nose you can tell its a heavy hitter right away. As with any cask strength whisky the nose can become slightly hidden.
There are notes of honey, heather, ginger, cloves and a definite floral feeling. Perhaps also some cereal notes and the mildest touch of sulphur.
The palate (even after the addition of some water) is very rich. As with the nose there are cereal notes, ginger and cloves buried under some intense honeysuckle and perfumy notes.
The finish is quite dry and warming. The spice notes continue and lead to quite a woody finish.
Definitely a warming and full bodied powerhouse of a dram.
I’ve always found a slight roughness to older bottlings of Royal Brackla, a sort of ‘dirty’ note. It’s definitely not to its detriment.
I prefer to think of it as part of its character and with so many characterless whiskies around it is no bad thing at all.