N.b.: This is a review of the 2009 bottling of the 1991 Royal Brackla from Gordon & MacPhail (the linked bottle is the 2006 bottling).
I picked this up at a G&M tasting night a month or so ago. I decided to open it tonight and revisit what I remember to be a very nice expression. It turned out to be as nice, if not better than I remember.
Nose: Popped the cork; instant wine, a light white wine, maybe a pinot grigio, but not so crisp. Then I got butterscotch, Werthers Originals, and over time, cream fudge. Initially it was almost all about the wine, but over 10-20mins it had developed into being predominantly made up of these less sweet honey notes. Mid transformation I’m sure I detected a very faint hint of mint, similar to the smell from an empty mojito glass; the mashed mint leaves, lime and melted ice cubes.
I enjoyed the smell of this one. It kept me interested and went through a very obviously and relatively quick transformation in the glass. [22/25]
Taste: First contact was sweet. Not honey sweet, just an initial tickle as it hit the tip of my tongue. After a couple of seconds the sweetness took a back seat to malty notes; just a no descript malty flavour with a distant lick of caramel. This then subsided, to reveal a wave of peppery spice which reached a peak and crashed as quickly as it had appeared. A very nice balance of flavours. I can see this being a little too easy to drink. [22/25]
Finish: Short, with nothing new brought to the table. No distinct notes on the finish but nothing that damaged the good impression made by the first taste. [18/25]
Not the most complex of whiskies, but fresh, light and enjoyable. The lack finish is more than compensated by the other parts, you might just need to drink it a little faster!