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

May 18, 2019





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Loyal Brackla? 
Is Brackla one of these rather simple, honest and ‘loyal’ malt whiskies? Or am I simply clutching at hopelessly uninventive titles? Now, what was that story about Prince Phillip and the ‘Royal’ prefix again? Possibly some other kind of car crash, literal or figurative - you never know with Prince Phil. Sadly, while in Slovenia, the elusive Royal Brackla Appreciation Society aren’t at hand to offer insight on such matters. Oh well, onwards...


Royal Brackla 19 yo 1997/2017 (46%, Berry Brothers, cask #9911, hogshead)

Royal Brackla 19 yo 1997/2017 (46%, Berry Brothers, cask #9911, hogshead)
Colour: white wine. Nose: a rather ‘swollen’ style of spirit. Lots of pretty fat cereals, olive oil, grasses, fresh herbs, tea biscuits, nettles and butter. Pretty good really, we’re some distance from blandness. Wee notes of white pepper, watercress, a scraping of lemon rind and some dried parsley. Eau de malt whisky! Mouth: again this sense of slight fatness. It’s all very cereal / barley driven - which is great - but the texture is what’s most notable. Lemon barley water, buttered brown toast, pot pourri, Darjeeling tea and a wee note of buttermint sweeties. There’s also some shortbread, various freshly baked breads, straw and milky cornflakes dusted with icing sugar. Finish: a little short perhaps. Peppery around the front of the palate in the aftertaste and with some residual cereals and herbal aspects. Comments: Honesty, simplicity and - indeed - loyalty. Exactly the qualities favoured by Her Majesty Queen Victoria. No wonder Berry Brothers bottled it. Probably a suitable tipple for when you’re waiting for the beaters to drive up a few extra Grouse. 
SGP: 551 - 84 points. 



Royal Brackla 27yo 1975/2002 (46%, Murray McDavid ‘Mission I’, 600 bottles)

Royal Brackla 27yo 1975/2002 (46%, Murray McDavid ‘Mission I’, 600 bottles)
A series that’s a tad forgotten these days, which is a shame as it sheltered plenty very fine drams. Mind you, that may well be because most of them got quaffed already. Colour: gold. Nose: what strikes first is a rather pronounced medical quality. Something that’s occasionally to be found in these old school highlanders. It’s this mix of balms and light embrocations that sits very well alongside soft waxes, honeys and touches of nectar and beeswax. Some softer fruit notes such as sultanas, banana bread and quince as well. Quite soft but very elegant and enjoyable. Mouth: nicely in keeping with the nose in that the medicines strike first but they’re quickly followed by pine needles, wax jacket, canvas, pipe tobacco, dried citrus peels, sunflower seeds and heather honey. Clean, light, refreshing, old school highland malt whisky. Quite a big difference from the 1997, but then isn’t that always the case with these older whiskies? Finish: medium length and on wood resins, herbal teas, salted honey, hessian, dried mint and putty. Comments: It looks like Serge scored this one 85 points back in the day but didn’t publish any notes for it. I like it a bit more, while it doesn’t quite have the requisite oomph to hit 90 I still think it’s a very solid 88. Probably the sort of thing Prince Philip would enjoy from an optic on his dashboard while navigating a public single track road near Balmoral on a crisp winter morning. 
SGP: 561 - 88 points.



No holiday bonus notes this time. I’m afraid I’ve been more focused on the wines this past week. I’m sure you understand.




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