Behind the seventh window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden the first batch of Royal Brackla from Boutique-y: a Royal Brackla 12 year-old batch 1, bottled at 47.9% abv (like yesterday’s Auchroisk or the Teaninich from a few days ago) by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. Brackla became in 1833 the first distillery to obtain a Royal Warrant, from King William IV, and thus changed its name to Royal Brackla. Only three distilleries bear the name “Royal”: Royal Brackla, Royal Lochnagar and the now demolished Glenury Royal. Royal Brackla is located in the Speyside region but is listed officially as being in the Highlands, and is one of the five distilleries owned by Dewar’s (the others being Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie and The Deveron). Royal Brackla was used solely to produce single malt for blends for a long time before a marketing manager, Stephen Marshall, helped by Master Blender Stephanie Macleod, succeeded in convincing the management to release a range of single malts, and since 2015 there is an official range consisting of a 12, a 16 and a 21yo. Royal Brackla has a medium capacity of production at about 4.1 million litres of pure alcohol per year.
White wine. After a swirl, heads are slow to fatten and slower to shift to gravity defying legs that refuse to go down the glass..
Coldorak: Initial nose clearly on apples (golden and granny smith) and cider, then with a touch of pear, a bit of hay and citrus in the background. Water brings some minerality and pencil shavings while toning down the fruits.
Ainulindalë: Quite overpowering nail polish on the nose. It’s hard to smell anything past it for me. I’d say honey and malt, and a bit of pears. A small background of vanilla, really tiny.
Coldorak: Neat, very fruity and oily arrival, with apples and citrus, then pepper and ginger appear to tone down after a few seconds, giving a third phase on chalk and a wee bit of grapefruit. Water gives a sweeter arrival at first, but reinforces the spiciness with chilli-pepper and a bit more chalk on the end. Very creamy texture.
Ainulindalë: In the mouth it starts with malt and some sort of oat cake. It slowly builds up to a fruity (orange, pears) top only to fade off lightly with a tinge of alcohol at the very top.
Coldorak: Warm and prickly on the tongue, on apples, grapefruit with a pinch of salt.
Ainulindalë: Medium length, on orange, a bit of hay or the smell of this kind of dust malt leaves when it’s being milled.