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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

November 28, 2013


Big surprises at Braes

Another name that we're seeing a little more at the indies these days, whether it's spelled Braeval or Braes of Glenlivet. I think Braes can take sherry very well.

Braeval 9 yo (40%, Douglas Laing for Fortnum & Mason, +/-2010)

Braeval 9 yo (40%, Douglas Laing for Fortnum & Mason, +/-2010) Two stars and a half This one should be very light. Colour: straw. Nose: barley, barley and barley all over the place, then a few nuts, honey and some white bread. All that is very light yet kind of pleasant, it won't offend anyone, especially the blend drinkers who are/were shopping at the poshy Fortnum & Mason store in Piccadilly. That's where I had found this humble baby. Mouth: very light, like a good sweet ale. Cornflakes, overripe apples, vanilla and a little toasted cake. Goes down without thinking. A little tobacco, perhaps. Finish: not that short, all on overripe apples. Comments: not much to say, this is very fair light malt whisky a kind of bridge between the big blends and the malts. SGP:431 - 78 points.

Braeval 15 yo 1997/2013 (50%, Hunter Laing, Old Malt Cask, ref #9888)

Braeval 15 yo 1997/2013 (50%, Hunter Laing, Old Malt Cask, ref #9888) Four stars and a halfRemember the OMC range is now to be found at Hunter Laing's rather than at Douglas Laing. Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: ho-ho, this is interesting! Mature malt whisky without any obvious traces of oak - not to mention wines -, all on earth, green bitter apples, gravel and clay. Also wonderful grapefruits and even whiffs of coal smoke. Remarkable! With water: the best apple juice ever. Lovely earthiness and just hints of youthful pineapples. Mouth (neat): wow! A big surprise, a perfect blend of all things waxy/mineral with some lighter citrus and a little peppermint. No, quite some peppermint. Perfect nakedness. With water: perfect, maybe just too much gritty grassiness. Finish: quite long, relatively narrow but ultra-clean. Menthol in the aftertaste. Comments: really, a surprise. I've had some wonderful sherry monsters from Braes but this naked one is just as impressive. Feels northern Highlands at times. SGP:552 - 88 points.

Braes of Glenlivet 1994/2013 (54.6%, Càrn Mor, Celebration of the Cask, bourbon, cask #159181, 218 bottles)

Braes of Glenlivet 1994/2013 (54.6%, Càrn Mor, Celebration of the Cask, bourbon, cask #159181, 218 bottles) Four starsColour: pale gold. Nose: excuse me? Is this really Braes? Big wax, flints, tangerines, citrons, oils and beach sand, we could as well be at Clynelish. Serious! With water: some fresh fruity oak coming out. Very sexy but I'm not 100% sure I should like this. No more Clynelish, sob, sob... Mouth (neat): full fruits including litchis, then vanilla, orange blossom, rosewater and a lot of coconut. Very active American oak, this palate has nothing to do with the nose when undiluted. How funny! (well...) With water: pina colada and barley water. And liquorice allsorts. Very easy/sweet palate. Finish: medium length and... very Irish pure pot still. Comments: could this be a mis-stenciled (right, mis-barcoded) Redbreast? Very good, very good... And wow, Braes! SGP:641 - 87 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Braeval I've tasted so far







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