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

Style: Sweet, Herbal and Dignified


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.


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.


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


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 / *]