Following the reviews of the Royal Brackla 12 & 16 Year old, it’s time to try the high end expression, the Royal Brackla 21 Year Old. I liked the lower age expressions despite their flaws, can we hope that the 21 is better?
Royal Brackla 21 Year Old (40%, £135/€139.75)
Nose: Unlike the 12 & 16, the 21 Year Old starts with a grassy tone instead of the floral one, a lot of meadow grass and hay notes but slowly the floral notes crawl back. White chocolate, honey, dry but less so than the younger siblings, sweet golden apples, slight sherry impact with dried fruit, nutmeg and cloves, creamy and a bit waxy. After a while, maltiness, subtle dark chocolate and some eucalyptus and menthol shows up. Continue reading
A couple of months ago I reviewed the entry level expression from Royal Brackla distillery which is part of the Last Great Malts series from Bacardi. It’s time to move up in the line up and review the higher level expressions from this new line up.
Today we’ll check the mid level expression, the Royal Brackla 16 Year old and the next post will review the high-end offering, the Royal Brackla 21 Year Old.
Looking back at my review of the 12 Year Old one, it seems that I liked it as it sports a unique profile of dry, lightly fruity, a bit herbal and a touch of sherry impact. What does the 16 YO has in store for us?
Royal Brackla 16 Year Old (40%, £69.95/€85.90)
Nose: Starts with floral note of violets and a springtime meadow grass, flint and limestone, white chocolate, honey, pears and a lots of apricots. It’s very dry, getting sweeter and fruitier over time, green melon, green apples and unripe mango.
Following Craigellachie and Aultmore, Royal Brackla disitllery are the next distillery being introduced into the market as part of the Last Great Malts series from Bacardi. Royal Brackla is one of two distilleries with the “Royal” word in their name (following a Royal warrant of course) but unlike the other Royal distillery (Lochnagar), Royal Brackla is not a small distillery. With a yearly production of 4,000,000 liter of alcohol, it’s a serious cog in Bacardi portfolio for blenders.
Royal Brackla aims for fruitiness and lightness by having a long fermenting stage of 80 hours comparing to the usual 60-65 hours across the industry, and a slow distillation process combined with tall stills means lots of reflux action with the copper, clearing away the sulphury notes. But Bacardi didn’t stop here and for for the entire new line up of official bottlings, the delicate and light spirit is finished in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks.
Royal Brackla 12 (40%, £41.75/€55.99)
Nose: Light nose and it’s lightly perfumed. Dunno why but I immediately thought of a dancing floor at a spring garden party. Dried flowers, fruity with malt on the background, nuts and almonds, Semi dry. Despite spending most of the time in an ex-bourbon casks, the vanilla and honey are weak here. And then the sherry finish impact notes show up: cooked fruit with spices. cooked nutmeg, milk chocolate, hints of pepper. Despite being bottled at only 40%, it’s a pretty nice nose. Continue reading