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.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


It's no secret that some distilleries are more popular than others and when looking at different online whisky shops, I often see empty product categories and/or sold out labels across the pictures of these popular ones... However, one category that is also often empty is the Braes of Glenlivet aka Braeval, but not because its popular but because there's not much of it around - why, you ask?

Well, there's several reasons...

It is, in distillery terms, a fairly 'new' place, starting production in 1973 under the Braes of Glenlivet name. The name was then changed to Braeval in 1994 to prevent mistaken identity with nearby Glenlivet distillery. Owners Chivas Bros has never been promoted it as a single malt as almost all of its production is used as a dressing malt in Chivas Bros' blends. Add to that that the distillery has been closed from 2002 to 2008 means that the few releases available now all carries a bit of age.

Still, there's a few bottlings to be found here and there and I suggest you try it if you like a light, yet full flavoured single malt. I'd place my bets on Cadenhead and/or Signatory if you want try this malt. In fact, this particular expression was so good that it was voted overall best bottling at the Cadenhead tasting I hosted about a month ago, with 2 votes more than a 27yo Highland Park from a sherry cask - how about that? Personally, I had it in 2nd...

So, what's all the fuss about?

Braes of Glenlivet or Braeval as the distillery is called today, May 3rd 2010 © The Malt Desk

Braes of Glenlivet (Braeval) 1989 19yo (xx.xx.1989/xx.10.2008) 58,4%, ex-bourbon hogshead, 240 bottles, Cadenhead Authentic Collection

Colour is pale straw

You need to be careful with this one as its 58,4% - Chances are you'll numb your nose trying to pick up the delicate nose of this one and instead only get alcohol and we don't want that!

There's pear, grassy, vanilla, honey, hint of pineapple, ginger and a little spicy oak and delicious malt notes... This reminds me quite a lot of Glenmorangie 10 back in the early 00's - lovely!

Again, you also need to be careful with this one on the palate. make sure you have either plenty of saliva or just a little water to take the top of the alcohol here.

This one starts with grass and white wine cooler, overripe pear, cider and then heads off in the sweet and spicy direction with vanilla, raspberry and ginger notes. The addition of water makes the whole thing rather creamy and extremely malty - a trait I really like and also allows fruit notes dressed in barley sugar to really play on the finish.

I could drink this all evening...


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