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

October 18, 2022


A trio of Braes

We've developed a fondness for Braes of Glenlivet. Should I worry? We'll have three of them today, vertically, two IBs and one of those rather rare OBs that keep flying under the radars.
(Photograph Anne Burgess)


Braeval 12 yo 2009/2022 (52.1%, Whisky-Fässle, butt)

Braeval 12 yo 2009/2022 (52.1%, Whisky-Fässle, butt) Four stars
Unnecessary 101: Braeval is Braes of Glenlivet. Got to see what the duck is saying… Colour: white wine. Nose: it's a civilised butt that lets the distillate shine through, with a mix of light wax, green fruits (our usual suspects greengages and gooseberries) and then some soft fats (light suet) before lemons and grapefruits would start to take over, adding much freshness and zestiness to this combo. Some flints too. With water: some smoke! Barbecue, then chalk and wool, grist, more grapefruits. Mouth (neat): it's fruitier on the palate, this time with some melon liqueur, pink grapefruit, St Germain, and a fruity hoppy side, IPA-style. The butt was a gentleman. With water: takes water extremely well, even better than pastis. Geared towards grapefruit liqueur. Giffard in France are making a good Crème de Pamplemousse Rose, for example. Finish: medium, clean, maltier. Comments: more proof that Braes is underrated, and that, in my opinion, it is worthy of more praise (that's the same thing S., no?) Excellent distillate.
SGP:551 - 86 points.

Braeval 23 yo 1997/2021 'The Drink Malt' (52.2%, Pin-Xin Wine Shop, barrel, cask #126750, 92 bottles)

Braeval 23 yo 1997/2021 'The Drink Malt' (52.2%, Pin-Xin Wine Shop, barrel, cask #126750, 92 bottles) Four stars
Hurray, our friends in Asia are into Braeval as well! Colour: light gold. Nose: this one's a little 'Glen-Granty', with rather more leaves and zests (kumquats), all that from a more active cask. Some bananas too, even banana foam, marshmallows… And even coconut balls. With water: same, with just a little more fresh bread, croissants au beurre… Mouth (neat): spectacular fruity and liqueury arrival, with a mix of 50% bananas and 50% papayas. Well, more or less. Some bitterness chiming in then (citrus zests) and grapefruits are soon to take over. We shall not complain, this is simple and perfect. Right, simply perfect. Was the barrel deep-charred? With water: more citrus, perhaps sweeter ones this time, oranges, tangerines, some custard… Finish: same, plus touches of green tea and, this time again, Szechuan pepper. Clean zesty Lagunitas-like aftertaste. Comments: perfect make, highly quaffable, perhaps even a little dangerous because of that.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

Braes of Glenlivet 25 yo 'Rare Release' (48%, OB, batch #BG/002, first fill American oak barrels, 2020)

Braes of Glenlivet 25 yo 'Rare Release' (48%, OB, batch #BG/002, first fill American oak barrels, 2020) Four stars
I find it just a little strange that they wouldn't have gone for sherry, as we know that Braes takes sherry very well. But there… Colour: light gold. Nose: it is much more discreet than both OBs, very gentle, more on cereals, cookies, sunflower and sesame oils, broken branches, croissants, muffins 'at the Balmoral', a fresh pack of Jaffa cakes, nougats… This is all nice, but really gentle and almost shy. Ish. Mouth: closer to the Pin-Xin but less 'obvious', with a little more sourness (sour apples), even notes of cider, but don't get me wrong, it's excellent whisky. The 25 years don't quite feel or show, having said that. Apples are ruling this baby. Finish: medium, with touches of coconut from the first fill barrels, then passion fruits. A little late. Comments: very good, very easy, balanced drop; not too sure about the 450€, having said that.
SGP:651 - 85 points.

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







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