A Quick Dram: Royal Brackla 12 Year Old


1985 is an important year. Super Mario was born. The first Wrestlemania took place. I was born. But it was also smack bang in the middle of a whisky crisis in Scotland. Unlike today, whisky value was going down. People were interested in other booze. Mix this with a difficult economic time, and you have distilleries being closed, mothballed and demolished throughout the 80′s. Instead of bottling every cask possible, as is happening now, casks were being held for the future, when times got better. Hence a glut of well aged Scotch at the beginning of the market picking up 10 to 15 years ago.

The reason I bring this up, is Royal Brackla stopped distilling in 1985. A distillery founded in 1812, becoming Royal in the 1830′s when it the whisky was supplied to the Royal Court. One of the first whiskies used by Andrew Usher for blending, and used for blending after that (read more here at the great Malt Madness). There have been a few independent bottlings, and the odd special edition, but this 12 year old is the first official bottling that marks Royal Brackla getting their own range. So let’s taste it

Royal Brackla 12

40% Abv

Nose: Barley sugar, pear, apricot, sweet and savoury pastry. Buttery notes.

Palate: Caramel, malty and honey notes at first. Very woody, fennel, dash of smoke, with cherries and raisins at the finish.

I liked it. An old fashioned whisky. Not crowd pleasingly over sweet, but something with a bit of complexity; oily, savoury flavours that reveals sweetness as part of its overall character.

I would recommend getting a bottle. It’s not mindblowing, but I found my sample evaporated very quickly.

Chris Hoban



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