About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, 27 September 2014


Located off the beaten path high up in hills in Speyside on the edge of the Cairngorm Mountains and not far from Tamnavulin and Glenlivet distilleries, you'll find Braeval. Originally named 'Braes of Glenlivet' it was quickly renamed 'Braeval' when current owners Pernod Ricard (Chivas Bros.) bought the distillery back around 2001 to prevent 'Braes' from being mistaken with their bread winner, Glenlivet...

As I mentioned, Braeval is located high up in the hills, actually there's a bit of a dispute with Dalwhinnie Distillery just off the A9 main road about which distillery is the one located at the highest point in Scotland. Dalwhinnie is located 10 miles north of Drumochter pass which is 460 meters above sea level. Dalwhinnie is supposedly 351 meters above sea level coming down on the north side of the pass. Braeval is, according to other surveys, located 355 meters above sea level but there's never been an exact survey establishing which distillery is located highest up.

Going to Braeval takes you off the smaller country road, the B9008 and after a couple of miles on a side road stopping for sheep with lambs and thinking you'll never find a distillery out here, there it is...

The Braeval whisky is light in style with lots of volatile fruity notes, IMO so it's with much anticipation I dive into this sherry cask expression, as I feared it might be over powered by the cask influence...

Here's my take on it...

Braeval Distillery, May 5th 2013 © The Malt Desk

Braeval 1996 12yo (xx.11.1996/xx.10.2009) 57,3% Sherry butt#4904, 488 bottles, Blackadder Raw Cask

Colour is light amber

Sweet apple, white pepper, vanilla, baked banana, slight milk chocolaty notes and thin coffee, bit of crushed walnut. Alcohol carrying it all to your nose very aggressively, so this needs to be nosed very carefully.

Vanilla, honey, crisp malt and very light in style in spite of the sherry cask influence (great!), cinnamon, apple again, caramelised white garden fruits, caramel desserts, also thingking vanilla ice cream with light caramel tough here... The sherry is certainly peeping through as a an accelerant towards the finish where it gives off a short alcohol burst but then mellows out on a slight burnt sugar note.

This is an very nice dram, indeed... I love to see the light style of Braeval still coming through even though its been matured in a sherry cask, though it's maybe not the most active one... but it's still enough to give it more than a touch of sherry notes.

Thanks to JC for bringing this to a recent private function

The score for me on this one creeps up to...


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