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A pleasant highland malt, the best I can say for it is it’s unchallenging. Not a great recommendation for a whisky with a royal charter from no lesser heads of state than Queen Victoria, Edward VIII and George V. One assumes the proximity to Balmoral was the draw rather than superlative quality in the product...
The nose is inviting with warm woody smells, vanilla and spice. Not scoring points for complexity or distinctiveness but it’s a pleasant aroma. On the palate it’s medium bodied with sherry flavours dominating, some butter and touches of cinnamon and oak. The finish is better than I was expecting. Too many malts at 40% die short and bitter ends, but this has some sweetness lingering for a reasonable time with malty spicy flavours associated.
Pleasantness is a virtue and not every malt needs to be groundbreaking. Sometimes you just want a nice warming dram and this one fulfils that brief. Maybe that’s why it’s a royal favourite?