Braeval 22 1994 Maltbarn

Thanks to /u/dramfine  for sharing this dram.

Second Braes of Glenlivet or Braeval I’ve ever had. Why? The distillery was started by Chivas in 1973, took a break in 2002, and then came back in 2008. It’s owned by Pernod Ricard, doesn’t have any official bottlings (OB if ya nasty), and goes right into blends.

Years ago I had one and we’re back here again. It’s an industrial whisky maker. But so is Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila. The difference? Peat goes a long way.

So now Pernod Ricard has the company, the name is now Braeval and not Braes of Glenlivet. So what are we drinking? Braeval 22 1994 Maltbarn, an older independently bottled single cask release. It’s been aged in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at cask strength.

So past me thought one Braeval deserved another, albeit almost a decade later. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: €123

Region: Speyside

Vintage: 1994

Bottled: 2016

Cask type: Bourbon

Number of bottles: 197

Abv: 51.7%

Colour: 5Y 8/8

Nose: Nougat, white pepper, floral salt, apple juice

Sweet candy/creaminess, some heat/earth, some floral and salt, and then a big hit of apple juice. It’s an odd mix, but I’m drawn to how many different flavours hit me at once. If anything it’s quite sweet, but still interesting.

Taste: Apple juice, white chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg

Wow, that’s a lot more apple juice. I know that people know I’m not the biggest fan of orange and chocolate (or too much orange) or tobacco flavours… And I didn’t think I had to bring up I was “that kid” who somehow didn’t like Apple Juice, but… I was.

That all said, this eventually becomes closer to an apple cider (spiced) than just liquid fruit kid crack. Still a tad sweet.

Finish: Lime, cherry, button mushroom, cream

I do prefer the finish, what with my unnatural dislike of what should have been liquid happy fun child time… Wait, that sounds uncomfortable. I’m talking about apple juice.

The finish is closer to what I really wanted: Slush Puppies with two flavours in them. More sugar. There’s also a mixture of earth and very savoury elements at the same time. Which is odd.

Conclusion: A creamy, spiced apple juice. If I liked Apple juice more (I was a picky annoying child), then I’d be totally sold. If the finish had a bit of a break between the sweet and savoury elements, maybe if it wasn’t an odd mix in apple and cream, or maybe if the floral at the start stuck around, I’d be loving it.

That said, for a second Braeval ever, this is quite nice. I haven’t read many that meet this level, and it’s too bad I didn’t grab this up when I had the chance. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to have another to balance me out.

82/100

Scotch review #1524, Speyside review #429, Whisky Network review #2233

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