Hepburn's Choice Braeval 12 Year

Hepburn’s Choice: Braeval: 12 Year (Scottish Speyside Single Cask Single Malt Whisky: 12 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Thick grain to gold.

Viscosity: Mostly fast thick streaks.

Nose: Lime. Stewed apricot and raisins. Slightly alcohol spirity. Grain cereals. Water makes more cereal orientated.

Body: Fresh apricot and lime. Make spirit character. Pear drops. Shredded wheat if held on the tongue. Water makes more fiery at tail end, adds light strawberry and smooth custard and toffee up front. More water dims fire again and adds apples.

Finish: Shredded wheat. Alcohol air. Rice. More fiery with water. Malt drinks.

Conclusion: Twelve years? I have to admit I wouldn’t have guessed. This, while definitely whisky, still has a lot of the very fresh faced elements that I would usually associate with make spirit.

So is it bad then? Well, no – for that matter make spirit up to pre three year old soon to be whisky can often be fun, but it is a very unexpected experience for what is a decade plus old whisky.

Is it good then? Well it isn’t bad, though oddly for such a spirity whisky it does seem to work better neat. The spark of the whisky is the fun. Water, well initially it actually exaggerates the rough edges but with enough water it does smooth it out a bit. However under the brighter notes the base is quite cereal and workmanlike, so losing the brighter edges doesn’t improve the whisky.

Neat however it is a nice mix of stewed fruit, bright make spirit like green fruit and lots of energy. A bit rough, but a bit fun with it.

As it is a comparatively uncommon distillery I wouldn’t say seek it out as it is a mixed bag, and there are better that are easier to find – but taken neat it is an interesting whisky.

Background: This was kindly brought back from Scotland for my by my parents. Many thanks! Braeval is another distillery I had not tried before, and my attempt to try as many different distilleries as I can is progressing well. This is one of 523 bottles taken from a Sherry butt. Drunk while listening to some “Feed The Rhino” Because I like loud angry music. No real link to the whisky.

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