Showing posts with label Braeval 15 (Hunter Laing). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Braeval 15 (Hunter Laing). Show all posts

Braeval 15 (Hunter Laing)

”Knock On Wood”

Whisky Review # 957

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Braeval - Distilled December 2001 - 677 Bottles
Bottled By/For: Hunter Laing -  The Old Malt Cask Series in February 2017
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # HL13270
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 85-95 (August 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ­čśÉ Acceptable given its age.
Buying Advice: ­čśö This is for the Woody Woodpecker's among us.

Colour:

Golden Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Surprisingly light for a 15 Year-old Single Cask. The Sherry influence is quite clear but it's not a Thick Sherry-Bomb. Solid Malt basis. A mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. Quite Mineral as well. It's okay but not really special. The Alcohol is there but does not interfere with the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Raspberry, Strawberry, Green Apple, Apricot-filled Pastry, Grass, White Chocolate, Floral Soap, slightly Musty Oak, Wet Rocks, Metal, Orange Peel, Ginger-Bread and Cinnamon. 
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Golden Syrup, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Sultanas, Marzipan, Nougat, Peach, Wax, Tobacco and Pepper.


Palate:

A rather plain, dry and slightly Edgy Bitter-Sweet Mix of Malt, Wood, Spices and a few Berries and Sour Apples. Okay but not impressive.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Malt, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Caramel, Toffee, Raspberry, Strawberry, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Apple, Citrus Peel, Grass & Straw, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Pear, Grapefruit, Nectarine, Wine-Cellar, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Sultanas, Marzipan, Nougat, Cinnamon and Cardamom.


Finish:

Middle-Long, a little Sharp and Bitter-Sweet. Some Sour Notes as well. The Alcohol is more noticeable now and so are Cask and Wood Spices. Quite Dry in the end. I find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Butterscotch, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Apricots, Apple, Citrus Peel, Nectarine, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Grapefruit, Herbal Tea, Wet Rocks, Musty Oak, Straw, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Licorice and Menthol.  

Drinking Advice:

A little Water helps to calm down the Alcohol but the Wood and Spices remain very powerful on the Palate and in the Finish. My advise would be to add some 10 drops of Water at first and gradually increase the quantity until it satisfies your taste.  

Rating: 83.5  - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7.5  (*******1/2)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20,5 - Overall: 20.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good but quite Woody and Spicy.

Conclusion:

The Braeval distillery is located in the Braes of Glenlivet and was founded by The Chivas and Glenlivet Group in 1973. Originally the Distillery was named Braes of Glenlivet but it changed to Braeval in 1994. Pernod Ricard bought Chivas Brothers in 2001 and mothballed Braeval from 2002 to July 2008 when it started producing again. Most of the production is destined for the Chivas Regal Blends. However, since 2017 the distillery is launching Single Malts such as the 16, 18, 25, 27 and 30 years old. Enough casks remain available for Independent Bottlers though such as the one I'm reviewing today.

I expected more of this Braeval. It's loaded with Malt, Wood and Spices and misses sufficient Fruity notes that would create more Balance. It's not really bad but it's sort of narrow-minded and plain. Okay but not really my thing. 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        August 4, 2022