zondag 23 december 2012

Tasting Braeval 1998 13 YO single cask by The Utimate

Braeval is one the hidden distillery gems in Scotland's largest whisky producing area, Speyside.
Reason is that the whisky from this distillery is not released as an official bottling by the current owners, Pernod Ricard.
In fact, the spirit is not even matured on site, but tankered away and stored and matured elsewhere in Scotland.
Most of the production goes into blends. Which ones is not clear since the blenders usually hold their recipe as a secret.
Info on the net learns that Braeval is not only used in blends of the owning company but also sold to others.
Braeval is also known as Braes of Glenlivet, but the second part of the name was dropped later on, since there's another quite large brand already holding that name. The first part of the name changed into Braeval.
It's a relatively young distillery, founded in 1973.
Braeval was mothballed in 2002 but restarted production in 2008.

This being said, Braeval is a whisky you will only find as an independent bottling. We @Whiskytips think it is a very underestimated malt whisky.
Take for example this bottling, released by the people of Van Wees, Netherlands on their owm label, the Ultimate.
Bottlings by the Ultimate, as this Braeval, are quite often single cask bottlings and we dare say of very good quality. The people over there know there whisky business for almost 50 years already.
The labels always provide lots of info, as you can see on the photo.
This bottling comes off a bourbon barrel nr 168883 with a yield of 227 bottles. The bottles are individually numbered.

This particular bottling is almost 14 years old, but due to Scottish whisky standards, only a full year counts, so this bottling only made it to 13 years.
Years however don't tell the whole story, how badly the marketeers want us to believe that: "more years is better quality". O yes, bottlings of older vintage will certainly cost you more money, but it doesn't mean it's 'better' whisky. In the end, it's you, the customer, who decides if a whisky is good, better or best.

Tasting notes for this bottling:
Colour: pale straw
Nose: barley, sweet, lemon, vanilla, oaky notes
Taste: creamy, oily, barley, some plum (the yellow ones), vanilla fudge, honey and white pepper in the end
Finish: pleasant, smooth, sweet, the peppery note holds on, mint and a mild bitter at the end.

Conclusion: if you like Speyside whisky, this is certainly a dram to try. You might be able to pick one up at a festival or tasting, you will not be disappointed.

Information from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2013 and Malt Maniacs.

©whiskytips 2012