Royal Brackla Distillery is located in the North Highlands region of Scotland. It was founded in 1812 by Captain William Fraser. The distillery operated under the name of ‘Brackla’ for more than twenty years until they became suppliers for King William IV’s court. Then they subsequently added the ‘Royal’ prefix to the name. The distillery is currently owned by Barcadi and operated by subsidiary John Dewar and Sons. They’re a relatively unknown brand since most of their spirit is used in blends like Johnnie Walker Gold and other various Dewar’s labels. The Royal Brackla range consists of the 12, 16 and 21. Without further preamble let’s get to the tasting notes for the 12 year old.
Nose: apple pie, cinnamon, green grape skin, vanilla, cereal notes, hay, raisins
Mouth: soft, all spice, cinnamon, ginger, caramel, honey, sugar cookie, green apple in background, red fruits
Finish: oak spice remains on tongue, brown sugar, medium, cereal notes
Verdict: The nose on this whisky leads with green grape skins then transitions to apple pie, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins and some cereal notes. There’s also a hint of hay on the back end. On the mouth the whisky is soft because it’s bottled at 40% ABV. There’s loads of all spice, cinnamon, cloves and ginger from the oak. The dominant flavors are caramel and sugar cookie complimented by green apple and red fruits. It’s notable that this whisky is more punchy and flavorful than The Deveron 12 which is also managed by John Dewar and Sons. The finish is a bit rough with mostly oak spices, brown sugar and cereal notes left on the tongue. Overall this is a solid sipper – it’s a straightforward dram that will be familiar to scotch drinkers.