Apparently there has been quite the dispute about, in which Scotch whisky region Royal Brackla is located. Legendary whisky writer Michael Jackson seems to believe, it’s located in Speyside and this whiskey lexicon that I’m holding in my hand agrees with him. However most other whisky writers place Royal Brackla as a Highland distillery, including Independent Bottler Gleann Mόr, who has bottled this 10 yrs. Royal Brackla that I’m about to review. What we do know for a fact is that Royal Brackla is located near Nairn in Scotland.
Royal Brackla was founded in 1812 by Captain Willian Fraser of Brackla – How about that title? It operated under the name Brackla for more than twenty years before it was selected by King William IV to be “his” whisky for the Royal Cour, and thereby became the first whisky distillery being granted a Royal Warrant. Apart from Royal Brackla, only one other remaining distillery – The Royal Lochnagar – has been appointed to use the Royal title in its name. The Fraser family operated Royal Brackla until it was sold to John Mitchell & James Leict of Aberdeen in 1898, who rebuilt the distillery and sold it to John Bisset & Co in 1926, who again sold it to SMD in 1943. Due to restrictions on the use of barley for distilling during World War II, the Royal Brackla Distillery closed down from 1943 to 45. An airfield was built beside the distillery in 1940, to provide a landing ground for operational training and air gunnery. Royal Brackla closed its doors again in 1985 but reopened in 1991 now licensed to John Bisset & Co Ltd. In 1998 the Royal Brackla distillery was sold to John Dewar & Sons – owned by Bacardi - who remain the owner today. Apart from an official 10 year old bottling, the whisky distilled at Royal Brackla goes into blended whiskies like Johnnie Walker, and of course the Dewars expressions, but finally around 2015, Royal Brackla released three new officially bottling’s a 12, 16 and 21 years old.
Independent Bottler Gleann Mόr or Gleann Mόr Spirits Company as they are officially named is located in Edinburgh, Scotland and founded in 2013 by Derek Mari. Gleann Mόr’s A Rare Find lineup features distilleries you often won't find anywhere else, almost always Single Cask offerings bottled at Cask Strength, always natural colored and non-Chill filtered. Gleann Mόr has also released a line of very old blended whiskies, among others a 40 years old blend of Macallan, Glenrothes and Tamdhu. Derik Mari is also the guy behind Firkin Gin. A premium London styled Gin, aged in American oak, ex-sherry, port and Islay whisky casks.
Derek Mari apparently likes to keep things short and sweet, by simply stating "We only sell spirits that meet our high standards and would buy ourselves, ensuring great value for money". I guess it isn’t the worst philosophy a whisky company can have, let's see if I reach the same conclusion?
Gleann Mόr. A Rare Find. Royal Brackla 10yrs.
Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
From A Single Cask
Non Chill-Filtered/No added colouring
Distillery: Royal Brackla
Bottler: Gleann Mόr
Age: 10 Years Old
Dk price: $111USD/699Dkk.
Release: Limited 206 bottles release
Light headed, earthly with Green tee upfront followed by light pineapple notes.
White pepper mixed with a taste of English licorice allsorts.
A bit of acacia honey is coming through in the medium long finish.
Quite nice daily drinker - if you don’t take the price tag into consideration - that goes down just as easy as its forgotten afterwards.
Review By: Hasse Berg
Photo by: Goldendrops.dk (All rights reserved)
This sample was graciously sent to me by Goldendrops.dk for the purposes of this review.
Son of Winston Churchill has kindly been granted permission to use the photo in this review.