Showing posts with label Royal Brackla 16. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal Brackla 16. Show all posts

Royal Brackla 16 Years Review

“King of the (Middle of the) Road”

Whisky Review # 685

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands
Brand: Royal Brackla
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 16 Years 
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon casks with Oloroso Finish      
Chill Filtration: Yes        
Price Range: Around US$ 110 (February 2018). Cheaper in Travel Retail.
Buying Advice: 😑 Good Entry Malt. Too expensive though!    

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Friendly but clean and rather underwhelming. He's Young for His Age as Albert Hammond sings in his Hit-Song "Air Disaster". The Sherry cask Finish is certainly noticeable. The Nose of this Royal Brackla won't scare off anybody and beginners will surely find it pleasant. I find Sweet Barley, Muesli with Apricot and Banana, Toast with a mixed spread of Butter and Margarine, Candle Wax, Resin, Sweet Apple, Honey-Melon, Toffee, Vanilla, Hay, Grass, Caffe Latte, Citrus Peel, Cinnamon, Ginger and hints of Floral Perfume and Varnish. 

Palate: Slightly Thin as could be expected at 40%. A 16 year old Single Malt deserves an ABV of 46%. The price of this Royal Brackla should allow this to happen! It all remains friendly and mostly Sweet with a few Herbal and Spicy notes for much needed balance. I find Creamy Malt, Toffee, Vanilla, Almonds or Marzipan, Honey-Melon, Sweet Apple, Figs, Butter, Sugared Orange Peel, Hay, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pepper, Clove, Milk Chocolate, Dried Herbs and a hint of Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup.  

Finish: Middle-Long and Sugary Sweet with a few slightly Bitter notes towards the Dry end. I find Creamy Malt, Butter, Vanilla, Toffee, Sweet Apple, Nuts, Milk Chocolate, Honey-Melon, Pear drops, Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove, Pepper, Nutmeg, Charred Oak, Grass, Straw, and Sevilla Oranges. The Buttery notes coat your mouth for quite some time.         

Drinking Advice: Royal Brackla 16 Years does not improve with added Water. Enjoy it neat or over a little Ice on hot summer nights. 

Rating: 84.5        

Nose: 21.5  - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

Image result for royal brackla 16 years

General Remarks:

🏣   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The distillery was founded in 1812 by Captain William Fraser and is located in Cawdor. In 1833 it was awarded the Royal warrant by King William IV. The spirit produced by Royal Brackla has always been a favourite of the Blending Industry. One of the first Single Malts was the 10 Years Flora & Fauna, released in 1993. In 1998 the distillery was bought by John Dewar & Sons (Bacardi) and most of the Spirit was reserved for the Dewar's and William Lawson Blends. In 2014, Bacardi decided to vastly increase the participation of their distilleries in the Single Malt market. They called the project The Last Great Malts of Scotland and it includes Single Malts from Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, The Deveron and Royal Brackla.   

The 16 Years was launched in 2015 together with the 10 - and 21 Years. These three represent Royal Brackla's contributions to the above mentioned Last Great Malt project. It almost automatically became their core range as well.

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🍷  The Spirit 

The distillery operates with two pairs of Stills with Lyne arms at various angles. They produce a Medium-Bodied, Sweet, Fruity and Floral Spirit. The Water is sourced from the Cursack Springs.

🌲  The Wood:

The Spirit for this Royal Brackla matured in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks before being finished in First-Fill Oloroso Sherry casks.

Drinking Experience NeatGood but uneventful.

Conclusion: The Royal Brackla 16 Years is a typical modern, easy-going, middle of the road Single Malt that will, without any doubt, please many people with its uncomplicated structure, Flavours and Aromas. So far, so good you would think! But the price tag of this Single Malt is quite high and I would have expected a higher ABV of say 46%, no Chill-Filtration and no Colouring. That would seem a logical strategy for a distillery that is relatively unknown and wishes to increase its market share in the Single Malt segment. As it is, the Royal Brackla 16 years would be a fine entry-level Single Malt at around 50 US Dollars. At the current price level however it is simply way too expensive for what it offers. Let's hope Bacardi will revise its price structure as they have a potential Middle of the Road Champion with this Royal Brackla 16 Years.

Jan van den Ende                                                                 February 1, 2018