1994 Braes o’ Glenlivet 19 y.o. (Samaroli)
Cask #165658 American Oak
A whisky from the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar First Edition.
A relative rookie on the grand ol’ whisky scene, Braeval was founded only a few years before I was born. 1974, in fact. Wait…Braeval? Yep. This distillery was christened Braes of Glenlivet, before going through a name change to something a little less confusing in 1995. Well…confusing to the simpleminded, anyway. Remind anyone of the Knockdhu/anCnoc idiocy? Sorry…I shouldn’t digress to whisky snobbery, should I?
This is the first Braeval I’ve reviewed for ATW. Quite frankly, it’s a distillery with very thin representation on the ground. Most of the distillery’s output ends up being smashed into obscurity in blends such as Chivas. As of now, I haven’t tried enough Braeval releases to say whether or not that is the most apropos destiny for the spirit. I’ll check through the sample library in the coming days and see if I have any more to write up.
Irrespective, though…this was a tough one to reconcile for me. The nose is an absolute stunner! I adore the vivid and tangy orange fruits. Really a great, fruit-rich nose. The palate though…unless you like wine-y whiskies…may be a letdown. It was for me anyway. Certainly not enough to ruin a decent whisky, but definitely a hobbling.
Nose: Orange, lemon and pineapple. Touch of eucalyptus. Apple pie. Lively floral notes. Hard fruit candies. And still more tangy orange. A little bit of licorice. Maybe tangerine. Could have ended up to be a tropical beauty if left for another 15 years or so.
Palate: Very wine-y delivery that is a letdown from the nose. A little fresh orange and pineapple, then…whoa! Right off the rails with almost bittering oaky wine notes. Chardonnay perhaps. Orange pith. Burnt pie crust. Quite drying. Fades on very gentle doughy notes.
Thoughts: Somewhat dissapointing due to an overly tannic, wine-y palate. The nose is almost spectacular though.
Bonus: My mate, Jonathan, and I are gonna blog on these drams side by side through the season. Here’s a link to his notes on the same whisky at SingleMalting.com.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt