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1998 Royal Brackla 17 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1263811

The Royal Brackla 17 year old completely caught us off guard on our recent trip to Scotland. We'd of course heard of the Bacardi-owned distillery, known for its role in blended whiskies, but we'd never tasted one quite like this. Joining us for the first time this year during the meeting was Hunter Laing's master blender Tom Aitken who used to blend for Dewar's back when Bacardi first bought the brand. Tasting samples with a veteran who understands the inner workings and the history behind some of these lesser-known distilleries is invaluable. Tom explained that former owner Diageo used the distillery as a sort of experimental lab during the nineties. They made all sorts of different styles back then apparently and the quality could be wildly variant. This particular cask was absolutely stunning. It was straw colored and light to the eye, but packed with so much flavor it was deceiving. There were definitely phenolic elements at play; very subtle hints of peat that worked as an undercurrent to all the sweet stone fruit and vanilla. The combination of grain and fruit was like a burst of classic malt goodness, but on the finish it turned savory with hints of sage brush and white pepper. All in all, this is an incredibly dynamic malt for the price and a great introduction to the distillery for newcomers. Bacardi has since turned Royal Brackla into its own single malt brand that should be on American shelves soon.

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Price: $59.99
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By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/24/2016 | Send Email
What little Brackla we see on the secondary market is typically overpriced and under performing. This creamy little cask is NEITHER of those, instead it's ultra affordable with maximum drinkability. This is what I'd easily categorize as a summer whisky. Fresh and open, but not boring. Creamy fruit all the way but not just one note the whole way through. Tons of citrus and meaty fruit, great vanilla and malty grain. A real treat to cheat the heat!

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/23/2016 | Send Email
In the embarrassment of riches coming from Scotland to us, there are always a few bottles that just absolutely stand out for me. On this incredible wave of whisky the 17-year-old Royal Brackla is one of those bottles. This distillery is owned by Bacardi and most of it goes into Dewars, so it is super rare to see any of it by itself—but of course the geek factor of this only works if what is in the bottle is any good. It very much is good, in fact it is so good that one is almost forced to wonder why we are selling it at this price. The secret is that we can sell it as this price and so we choose to do that rather than be another place that overcharges due to high demand for whisky. On the nose there is almost a maple bar sweetness with notes of peat and orange peel. Elegant smoke balances the peat and salted notes and leads to a spice finish that is super smooth. This whisky is way to good to miss out on so I would recommend that you do not.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/19/2016 | Send Email
I am really happy to see this product arrive. It is one of the single malts that stayed foremost in my mind from the buying trip I took to Scotland with David Driscoll. It is a bright , fresh and lively single malt that is maltly and complex with a subtle hint of smoke. Highly recommended.

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