Whiskyfun

 

 

August 16, 2019


Whiskyfun

A brace of Braes, or a little more

Many second (or third) tier distilleries have become much more common at the indies since some big names have virtually vanished from their lists, but Braes a.k.a. Braeval remains rather obscure. One thing is sure, Braes takes sherry particularly well. Let’s see what we have…

Braeval 1998/2018 (59%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, refill American hogshead, cask #26004, 185 bottles)

Braeval 1998/2018 (59%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, refill American hogshead, cask #26004, 185 bottles) Three stars
What’s an American hogshead, exactly? A bourbon hogshead? New oak hogshead?  Colour: gold. Nose: pretty perfumy but also a little brutal at first nosing, rather on kirsch and other hot eaux-de-vie, then warm sawdust, honeysuckle, elderflowers and vanilla. With water: it’s the oak that wins it. Also banana skin, overripe apples, strong beer… Mouth (neat): kirsch again, with this almondy soapiness on top of it. Plum spirit, then more sawdust, with some bitterness. With water: gets a little fresher and rather less oaky, while it’s usually the opposite that happens after reduction. So, good news, but it’s still a little rough around the edges. Finish: rather long, rather maltier, but the kirsch would not give up. Bitter almonds in the aftertaste. Comments: all fine, this is good malt whisky that would have added structure and body to a good blend.
SGP:451 - 81 points.

Braeval 22 yo 1994/ 2017 (53.2%, Le Gus’t, bourbon, cask #165365, 178 bottles)

Braeval 22 yo 1994/ 2017 (53.2%, Le Gus’t, bourbon, cask #165365, 178 bottles) Four stars
Colour: gold. Nose: smoother, richer, more on cakes and tartes. I’m thinking mirabelle and apricots, the latter remind us that this excellent little bottler is located in Provence. I’m also finding liquorice and sweets, say liquorice allsorts (what they call bonbon anglais in Provence and in the rest of France). With water: very nice, some orange cake just out of the oven, mirabelle jam, more ripe apricots, and even that spirit they make in Switzerland, called apricotine.… I think you can’t make that in France (in the EU?) because of all the prussic acid that’s in the stones. Sure you take those out, but the spirit’s not as good then, same with plums. Anyway… Mouth (neat): good, creamy, with a warm fruitiness, on mirabelle jam, with drops of citron liqueur. Quite some pepper in the background. With water: same, plus more malt and beer. Shortbread. Finish: long, fruity, clean. Comments: some very good ‘middle-of-the-road’ malt whisky. No huge personality, but yeah, it’s very good.
SGP:551 - 85 points.

Braes of Glenlivet 1991/2018 (55.6%, Or Sileis, bourbon hogshead, cask #7859, 138 bottles)

Braes of Glenlivet 1991/2018 (55.6%, Or Sileis, bourbon hogshead, cask #7859, 138 bottles) Four stars and a half
Another one by our friends in Taiwan. Colour: straw. Nose: rather in the style of the Le Gus’t yet even creamier and more on cakes, shortbread, butterscotch, soft beers, dandelions, acacia honey… I would say you’d be forgiven for believing this is Glenmorangie. With water: lovely beeswax and madeleines, or small sponge cakes if you like. Mouth (neat): very excellent! Jaffa cakes all over the place, more butterscotch, triple sec, vanilla cake, lemon curd, biscuits (rather boudoirs, these small things our ancestors used to have with Champagne)… With water: top notch indeed. Rather more fruits this time, those mirabelles, citrons, wee juicy golden sultanas… Finish: medium, malty, very cake-y. Comments: seriously, I’d have said Glenmo. I’m rather impressed, well selected, Taiwan!
SGP:551 - 88 points.

Well, Braes does not only take sherry well, it takes bourbon too!

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Braeval we've tasted so far

 

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