This is the first proper bottling of a Belgian bottler named Brachadair (“maltman” in Gaelic). Well, not really the first, but the previous ones were bottled by A.D. Rattray and selected by Brachadair.
Braeval didn’t really exist in 1991, it was still called Braes o’ Glenlivet back then. A common mistake other bottlers are making as well. Braeval is one of these ‘one-man’ distilleries that are highly computerized and efficient, aimed at high volumes and low manpower.
Braeval 21 yo 1991 (53,1%, Brachadair 2013, bourbon barrel #95120, 230 btl.)
Nose: slightly grassier than I remember 1991 expressions from other bottlers. Fresh hay. Malty sweetness with apple, melon and lemon peel. A buttery hint, close to vanilla cream. Gingery oak. Nicely uplifting.
Mouth: punchy attack, rather creamy but not quite as fruity as expected. Lots of ginger and pepper, grated coconut flakes as well as a candlewax note. A slight bitterness as well, and a fragrant floral edge. Modern whisky, clean and formed by the oak.
Finish: medium long, still some coconut, with fresh oak and cocoa.
A fine dram and a nice entry for this new bottler. Let’s keep our eyes open for following releases. Around € 80, available from The Bonding Dram.