Brackla is a little known distillery hidden away in the highlands of Scotland, just waiting to be discovered.
It has a lucrative past, being built in 1812 by Captain William Fraserand was later chosen by King William IV in 1835 to be known as the King’s own whisky.
It was given a Royal Warrant, the first of its kind, and from then on was called Royal Brackla.
Today, the distillery’s range has been revamped, entering the market in 2014 alongside other little known but excellent drams such as Deveron, Craigellachie, Aultmore and Aberfeldy.
The Royal Brackla Range has been developed and extended, now comprising of 12, 16 and 21 year olds. Each expression offers a balanced and refined take on the Royal Brackla malt.
The 12 Year Old has a nose full of dried raisins and apricots with zesty oranges. There is a hint of warming spice that combines with the dried fruits, the perfect companion to their delicate sweetness.
The mouth takes these flavours and grows them on the palate. The fruits become sweeter and tangier. They blend deliciously well with an undertone of rich malt.
The subdued malt and splashes of ripe orange and clementine make for a well rounded whisky that does not disappoint.
The finish lingers just long enough, with a few more ginger and nutmeg spices thrown in to give a hearty kick at the end.
The 16 Year Old is truly a classic malt. The nose opens with bursts of apricot and pear and a sweet caramel overtone. The flavours taste like the perfect Halloween treat as ripe red apple and toffee join the mix.
Again, just like its younger sibling, the 16 Year Old explodes these flavours on the palate to create a bold and deep expression.
With the introduction of earthy wood tones that allow the taster to really experience the oak of the barrels, this dram is a sumptuous example of the high quality malt the comes out of Royal Brackla.
A dram of this malt is like sitting in a mahogany walled smoking room, appreciating the rich leather seats and woody smells.
This intertwines with the fantastically sweet fruits of the nose to make for an excellent dram.
The finish maintains the rich leather and wooded notes, giving the 16 Year Old a refined and well-balanced ending.
The last in the Royal Brackla range, the 21 Year Old develops the richness of the 16 and introduces a wonderfully honeyed sweetness.
The nose is full of sherried fruit and herby notes that give it a great earthy tone. Ripe fruits like apples and pears spring out of the 21 Year Old and complement a subtle malty undertone.
The palate grabs hold of these flavours and stews them together, creating a warming dram. There is also a wealth of sweet flavours, such as caramel and thick, creamy honey that coats the fruits and gives a buttery mouth feel.
The finish rounds off perfectly with the same rich wood tones of the 16. In the 21 they are more vibrant and intense, allowing the flavours to be truly appreciated and enjoyed.
The Royal Brackla range is a collection that speaks of the classic malt. These drams are well balanced and round off with great flavours.
Now that this hidden gem has been uncovered, there is no excuse not to enjoy the Whisky so good even the King wanted a part of it!