Whisky Review: Cadenhead Single Cask Royal Brackla 1976 Aged 38 Years

Style: Sweet, Herbal and Dignified

Nose:

Ahhh… Everything you would expect from a well-matured whisky, dignified aroma – toasted oak, coffee grounds, old cabinet, honey oat with a touch of vanilla custard to bring them together. Sweetness comes in an intriguing form of watermelon and kumquat sorbet, green mangoes, then a little heat brings us to the vegetal side of it, some fennel and thyme. Hints of amber coal towards the back.

Palate:

Waxy, honey syrup painted thoroughly around overripe kumquats, surprisingly sweet at the front. A rather subtle peat followed by another spoonful of watermelon ice. Peppermint and citrus lifting up to the top, then we have another herbal run – fresh cut grass, basil, linseed and more fennel. White pepper and oak cut in from the side to give a bitterish tilt. Dry spice, cloves finish.

Finish:

A mellow ending to it, caramelized kumquat, malt syrup bubbling gently, while herbs stay on the medicinal side till the end.

Thoughts:

I have never tried a 70s Royal Brackla and it is 38 years old! While it shows all signs of matureness  but in the same time it is unexpectedly vibrant for a whisky that old. Maybe the distillate starts from a high herbal tone and slowly works it way down over the years. A rather sweet and herbal dram and the long maturation has provided a good depth and complexity. A decent and interesting dram.

☆ [Recommended]

[52.9% / Independent Bottling / Single Cask / 1976 Distilled / 2015 Bottled / Cask Strength / Non Coloured / Matured in Bourbon Hogshead / one of 150 Bottles / *]

-Esmond