Blind Tasting Competition 2 – Royal Brackla, 33yo, 1976, 43% – MacKillop’s Choice

I’ve got points! 20 because I had the ABV right, and 20 since I guessed a distillery from the same region. The last bit feels like cheating a bit since Balblair (my guess) and Royal Brackla are rather far apart. But still. Points!

The rules are fairly simple:

  • 20 points for the ABV (-1 for every tenth you’re off)
  • 40 points for the distillery (20 if it’s in the same region)
  • 40 points for the age (-10 for every year you’re off)

18 whiskies means an 1800 point maximum. Not sure about last year, but the year before the winner didn’t even have half. It’s ridiculously hard since as long as it’s a single malt from Scotland everything is allowed. As demonstrated by the completely random bottling from Bruichladdich.

This one then:

Royal Brackla 33. Image from Whiskybase

Royal Brackla 33. Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
At first I thought I got a whiff of peat but that was gone quickly. So no peat. It’s dusty and restrained. It takes some time before I got anything from it. Very gentle and low in ABV. Eventually I get instant orange juice powder.

Sip:
The palate has some more stuff going on. Kind of spicy with a hint of pepper. It mellows out quickly with some peach like, sweet syrup. The tinned kind.

Swallow:
The finish has some other fruits as well, but we’re still in the peach/apricot/nectarine league. It’s pretty long and gentle with a sudden hint of baking spices.

With the gentle flavours, and a slight hint of spice it could be anything, but my first inclination was to go for Balblair. Not entirely sure why but I went with that. I thought about changing it but I didn’t know into what. Benrinnes maybe. Maybe not. A good reason to not change anything.

Since I didn’t have a clue about the age I went for an arbitrary 15 years old and the ABV was an easy 43%. Not strong enough for 46 and not watery enough for 40. Spot on!

The whisky itself was nice enough and pretty tasty, although I found it rather restrained and it didn’t easily give you any flavours or scents.

Again, I understand its price at € 150 with it being 33 years old. Although, again, I wouldn’t spend this much on it since, according to my inconsistent palate, it could just as well be a 15 year old Balblair, which should cost no more than € 65 or so.

Royal Brackla, 33yo, 1976, 43% – MacKillop’s Choice. € 150 at Glen Fahrn in Germany

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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4 Responses to Blind Tasting Competition 2 – Royal Brackla, 33yo, 1976, 43% – MacKillop’s Choice

  1. So, for guessing 15yo for a 33yo whisky you lose 180 points? Man, this is tough!

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