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Because its whisky is used primarily for blending purposes (in this case by Chivas Bros.), Braeval is one of those seamlessly endless Speysiders that escape the notice of many malt drinkers. I have been spending the last year or so trying to sample as many of these under the radar malts as my budget will allow (most are not available in the U.S. which means that I have to pay shipping costs from Britain that often equal or surpass the cost of the malt!!). "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't". I guess.
This expression of Braeval is 14 years old (Distilled May 2001 and bottled December 2015). The outturn was 383 bottles from a sherry butt (Cask #DL10963) and bottled at 48.4%.
Color: White wine ("No colouring")
Nose: Lightly floral and summery. Quite lovely but understated. Chocolate covered malt balls. Grapey. Sherry wood.
Palate: Immediately lush with a barley surge and a subtle sherry undercurrent. Spices kick in mid palate and accompany the malt to the end. The wood is very tame and bitterness is kept to a minimum.
Finish: Dry with a combination of cocoa, sherry and spices.
Notes: For spending fourteen years in a sherry butt, the wine influence is quite restrained resulting in a subtleness that is engaging. This is a VERY drinkable malt and ideal for summer sipping.