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Braeval 18 Year Old 1995 Gordon & Macphail Connoisseurs Choice

Strawberries and Raspberries

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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

25th Feb 2015


Braeval 18 Year Old 1995 Gordon & Macphail Connoisseurs Choice
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Braeval was founded in 1973 as Braes of Glenlivet by Chivas Brothers, which is also the biggest client for their blending purposes. There are no official bottlings at this point, so we need to look at independent bottlers to try this malt. This bottling from Gordon & Macphail contains an 18 Year Old Braeval from 1995 – the year after Chivas changed the name of the distillery to the current Braeval – that matured on a refill sherry hogshead.

The nose is quite interesting, because besides the sweetness from the sherry cask, I also detect something… dirty. Not sure how to describe it, but let me call it stepped on grass with mud. It is the best I can do. Light, but there. It also have something sour as if from a candy. Becomes sweeter as you leave it to breath, with louder citrus (oranges and lemon, but also lemongrass), crystal sugar and light vanilla. I find this nose quite nice.

The body is somewhat light, almost watery. That is a bit of a let-down. But the taste is oaky. Citrus returns in full force, supported by some ginger, pepper and liquorice. A surprising trace of woodsmoke gives it depth. Midpalate I get some strawberries and raspberries with a hint of milk chocolate. Yep, this is not so bad after all.

The finish is fairly long and peppery, but little remains of the fruit. It leaves the mouth parch dry.

The nose was interesting, the palate ok, but the finish leaves something to be desired.

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