As part of the Toronto Whisky Society, we had a small getogether and drank our fucking faces off.
Like gentlemen and ladies and all that shit, you know? All hosted by one of our members, /u/devoz and his amazing wife.
Each of us brought a bottle to drink. And that was too many. So I understand if you take my reviews with a grain of salt. Or two.
We started, as we all should start, with a questionable whisky of lower proof and reviews that were… iffy.
Thanks to /u/Throzen for bringing Braeval Gordon & MacPhail Connoissuer’s Choice 1995-2013..
Now, onto the important question: Who or what is Braeval?
Braeval, formerly Braes of Glenlivet (in no way confused with another, major, much beloved by many kings distillery), that is now mothballed. Or was, actually. In 2008 it was revived, and it’s up and running again.
It has a sister distillery, Allt-a-bhainne, which is said to be similar in profile, so my constant sense of deja vu while drinking this now makes sense. Or I’m just able to see in the future, but only of whisky I am about to drink.
Greatest. Superpower. Ever.
It’s also the highest elevation distillery in Scotland and was mostly used in blends such as Chivas, Passport, and 100 Pipers. So we haven’t heard of it because it’s in blends. Another one of those, in other words.
Well let’s see how it tastes by itself, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO, but $122.00 (CAD) at the SAQ
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Hogshead
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Pineapple, green apple, wild flowers, sultanas
Well you can go to the beach, relax, and enjoy fresh fruit, or you can enjoy this dram instead in the cold, cold north with us.
Very fruit forward. Lots of flowers and fruit. Only fruit, actually. Nothing but fruit and pre-fruit (aka flowers).
It’s fruity, in other words.
Taste: Earth, blueberry, papaya, peach, malt
More fruit (calm yourself with surprise). More malt to go with it now. It’s no longer just a vessel for a refill sherry cask to give us fruit.
Initial taste is dry and earthy, and the fruit continues on a dry bent, with less juice. Think winter peaches versus summer peaches, if you will. Or even if you won’t.
Finish: Milk chocolate, earth/musty, black pepper, caramel, coffee
And it ends with… wait, where the fuck’s the fruit?
End has an almost smoke but not really it’s just dust taste to it. More sweets, but no fruit. Have I been bamboozled? I haven’t even drank that much yet!
Conclusion: What an odd, if simple dram. The nose isn’t too complex (FRUIT), the taste is fruit and earth, and the finish is earth, dusty, and sweet.
I’ll say this: I wouldn’t go out of my way to find this bottle, but it’s certainly an interesting dram. Not super special, but a decent daily drinker. Disjoint unfortunately, but I blame the lower Abv. on that more than anything.
Makes me want to try more Braeval/Braes of Glenlivet, that’s for certain.
Scotch review #509, Speyside review #151, Whisky Network review #826