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My last taste of Royal Brackla was from a sample of the 12, which I enjoyed. I was tempted to buy a full bottle of the OB 12 but saw this for £10 cheaper and that it went the distance in a refill sherry butt - so hopefully no gloopy or domineering sherry notes.
Bottle has one quarter left and review is with 1.5 tsp of water to a 30 ml pour. It definitely needs water, and will take a lot, but also needs a bit of time to fully open up.
Nose - deliciously inviting, sweet and full nose. Regal (ha!) barley sugars take the lead, some fresh ginger and white pepper spice things up with cherry cake, almonds and apricots giving more sweetness. One of those noses that leaps out of the glass and grabs you.
Taste - sweet then sour arrival. Lots of gorgeous sweet barley and oak, dark sweet notes of maple syrup and Caramac/Gold bars. Over ripe apricots, more white pepper and charred vanilla.
Finish - med. More ginger, pleasantly drying oak and dark chocolate fudge.
This is an absolute cracker, it really is. Big, bold and full-flavoured whisky that needs a wee bit of patience but is well worth it. It's been my go-to pour of the summer. It's not overly complex or layered, what you see is what you get, but that barley note is devine and very much takes centre stage. Also a great example of what a good refill sherry cask can do, if left alone! At £50, it's also good value though it still stings to say that about an 11 year old whisky! Such is life ... And (in part) why we drink whisky ;)