A new range of whiskies is to be released from the historic Royal Brackla distillery as part of John Dewar & Sons’ proprietary bottlings.
The new expressions will be a 12-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 21-year-old which will be available initially in 10 markets including the UK from September. They are all bottled at 40% ABV.
Royal Brackla, near Nairn in the Highlands, was established in 1812 and received its royal status from King William IV in 1835 – the first-ever scotch to garner a royal warrant, leading to its nickname, “The King’s Own Whisky”.
Traditional production techniques help to protect a distilling heritage that spans more than two centuries and helps to maintain quality. To allow for complexity and fruitiness, extra time is taken at fermentation, which acts for up to 80 hours – far longer than most Scottish distilleries.
The notably tall stills run at an unusually slow pace. Their height allows plenty of reflux, with the leisurely nature of the operation increasing the contact that the spirit shares with copper, helping to filter out unwanted sulphury notes.
Instead, delicate and lightly perfumed notes of grass and green foliage develop, alongside inviting fruity aromas. The whisky is finished in premium first-fill sherry casks, enriching it with notes of muscovado sweetness and dates, alongside opulent walnuts.
Stephen Marshall, global marketing manager for single malts at John Dewar & Sons owner Bacardi, said: “This is the one that was described as ‘The Drink Divine’ by the royal household in the 1830s. That’s no small claim, so we had to take our time and the entire team have done an amazing job that really does justice to Royal Brackla’s incredible heritage.
“There’s only one whisky in the world that can be the first royal whisky. I feel privileged to have worked on this.”
It is part of John Dewar & Sons’ Last Great Malts, which are bottlings of single malts from lesser-known distilleries, including some which have mainly supplied whiskies for blends. The others are Aultmore, Deveron, Aberfeldy and Craigellachie.
Tasting Notes from John Dewar & Sons
Royal Brackla 12 Years Old, 40% ABV
Salute a superior scotch: almonds, vine fruits, opulent spices; steeped in sherried richness. Ennobled nectar, fit for a king.
Royal Brackla 16 Years Old, 40% ABV
A royal flush of flavour: vanilla, soft caramel, ripe apricots; replete with sherry tones. Hold court with a monarch of the glens.
Royal Brackla 21 Years Old, 40% ABV
All hail a high-born spirit: summer berries, dark chocolate, star anise; infused with sherry sweetness. A member of malt aristocracy.