Whisky Review – Royal Brackla 16 year old

Royal Brackla 16 year old40% ABV£71.75 from the Whisky Exchange

Royal Brackla is one of the “Last Great Malts” range of distilleries, previously used almost exclusively for blends and the occasional special release is now being re-marketed as a standalone malt whisky. This isn’t a bad thing in my opinion, the distillery has a longer than what would be deemed normal fermentation period of up to 80 hours and her tall stills run at a nice slow pace, with lots of reflux providing a unique spirit. The range consists of 3 age statement malts 12, 16 and 21 years old, all at 40% ABV. 


Cucumber! On first pour I’m finding this expression full of herbal notes it’s a fresh, cleanly cut cucumber up front! There are some intense spices coming forward after a few sniffs. Strong ginger and sweet chilli sauce over chicken breast. There seems to be an amount of meatiness coming through, complex. We have some dried dark fruits and berries coming through and some hedge nuts freshly picked in a wicker basket. Much the foraging whisky. The cucumber dissipates in very little time and the fruitier edges come to the fore. Spices and fruits combining in a home made chutney like my mum used to make.  


A juicy arrival, lots of foraged fruits and a smidge of chocolate dusting. Development goes into rich confectionary with a caramel center. There is a small hint of herbal, but this is all about the depth of the sweet chocolate and caramel delights. A few nuts come late into play, it’s a rich fruit and nut bar joy. Delicious. 


A long length, chest warming, chocolate and nut rich satisfying finish. Caramel chocolate remains for the duration. 

Adding water. 

Minimal water added. Herbal toffee. The drop of water has exaggerated the ginger spices. Fresher ginger, intense. Lots of toffee. Some added chocolate and fresher stoned fruits. The palate is beautifully intense. Full of juicy fruits, light spices and delightful sugar sweetness. A tiny drop of water does this dram proud. A great balance. The finish is just delicious. Great stuff. 


Another Royal Brackla and another beautiful experience. This is great whisky. Another example of how much I would love to try this at 46%, NCF etc, because how gorgeous this is at this presentation, it should be even better with that extra bit of alcohol and oils. I thoroughly enjoy this one and it’s my pick so far, it’s a bit more expensive of course, but for a lovely whisky to have as a weekend treat, enjoy and not gulp down, this is awesome stuff. 

Much thanks to Royal Brackla for the review sample

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