Royal Brackla has a rich history dating back to 1812, when Captain William Fraser established it on the Cawdor Estate. For those of you who are not up on your knowledge of Scotland, the Cawdor Estate is a breathtaking, sprawling 80 sq. mile property located in Nairn, Scotland. The Cawdor, as it is known, has belonged to the Thanes of Cawdor and their family since the 13th century, and that family ownership continues today under the seventh Earl of Cawdor, the 25th Thane, and his family. The family resides on the property and over the past several years has polished it up. The family also runs the Drynachan Lodge, an upper crust hotel that sleeps only 22 people and boasts locally sourced meals from the woods, rivers and sea. It is a popular destination for the partridge hunting, and there are also many long hikes one can take along the picturesque grounds.
And of course, one can (and should) visit the distillery.
Upon retiring from the army and returning from a 14 year stint in India, Fraser helped to open the Brackla distillery, named for Fraser’s house. He marketed his whisky in London and exported it through the port at Inverness, one of the only ports then allowed whisky to be shipped to London. The whisky eventually reached King William IV’s lips, and in 1833 he allowed for the Royal Arms to be used on all things connected to the distillery. Hence “Royal Brackla,” reflecting the King’s approval. Queen Victoria later added her seal of approval, and granted him a Royal Warrant, making Brackla the first whiskey to be granted a Royal Warrant. An interesting history, indeed.
As is the norm for so many of the most historic Scottish distilleries, Royal Brackla endured several periods of time when the distillery was closed for various reasons, as well as having changed ownership a few times too. It is currently owned by John Dewar & Sons Ltd., which in turn is owned by Bacardi. The distillery is a major contributor to Dewar’s but also has a single malt line to call its own, including the 12 Year Old considered here.
Royal Brackla 12 được ủ trong các thùng sherry Oloroso nhẹ và cay với các ghi chú của vani và hạt tiêu đen. Rượu có hương thơm của Sherry trái cây, nho đỏ, cam quýt, chocolate sữa, một chút khói, caramel, nhiều gừng, táo xanh và hạnh nhân nướng – rất phức tạp. Tất cả tạo nên một chất rượu ngọt ngào của sự kết hợp giữa sherry và chocolate. Rất tiếc hậu vị chỉ có độ dài trung bình với hương gỗ sồi làm chủ đạo.