5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 10 – Singlemalting # 207 – Secret Spirits Royal Brackla 11 Year Old

Welcome to another Secret Spirits cask. Today we head to the Highlands and are filling our glasses with a dram from the Royal Brackla Distillery. It is one of only 3 distilleries to ever bear the name Royal. Royal Lochnegar is still in production however the other, Glenury Royal was unfortunately demolished. The Brackla distillery was built in 1812 on the grounds of Cawdor Castle and received it’s royal warrant from the King in 1833 becoming the first distillery to receive this lofty title. As is the case with a lot of older distilleries Royal Brackla has been closed and opened a number of times including during the second world war. A training airstrip was even built alongside it for aerial gunnery practice. After reopening in 1991 following a closure of 6 years it has now remained in continuous production. It is owned by alcohol powerhouse Bacardi. Independent bottlings are still somewhat rare so I was pretty pleased to get the chance to grab this cask for a Secret Spirits bottling.

Royal Brackla Distillery

Secret Spirits Royal Brackla 11 Year Old Single Malt – Refill Bourbon Barrel # 31878 – 57% alcohol – Highland

Colour:                   Pale straw. Another very light whisky in colour. This was a refill bourbon so even at 11 years old there is not a lot imparted. This could actually be the lightest whisky in this edition so far.

Nose:                       Marzipan, furniture polish and linseed oil. There is something funky underlying here…a mixture of my cedar humidor and all the lovely tobacco notes that rise out of it..

Palate:                     Bees wax, new leather (not that I have new leather for dinner often), hints of papaya but very muted. That polished wood tobacco note is still there.

Finish:                    The almond nutty marzipan comes back again in the background while the furniture polish feel rolls on. There is some hints of dried rose petals right at the death.

Nice to see that not all Highland whiskies are all about just sweet honey and dessert. This is a very cool whisky and I am going to be on the hunt for an older expression of Royal Brackla for future calendars for sure. This is a very delicious dram and one that I was super excited to find as it is pretty rare. Let me know if you would like to see some more Royal Brackla in future. Perhaps in a different type of barrel like a sherry cask?

Head over to you know where – Whisky Vault and Scotch Test Dummies – every day without fail…. just do it.

The day 10 offering in the 4th edition was none other than the Lost Distillery Jericho Archivist. A delicious older blended malt.

Tomorrow we are in for another treat from those tasting note toting Wemyss Malts folks and I can’t wait. We will fight the TTB one funky tasting note label at a time. Let me know your thoughts on the tasting note challenge. Do you think their actual labels are misleading?

See you on the morrow fellow drammers. I hope that you are enjoying the ride and going to places in whisky that you have not gone before.





  1. Justin says:

    What an absolutely fantastic dram! Great pick. Lots of complexity but not overwhelming, pure enjoyment. Definitely could taste the earthy, leatheriness punctuated with that high end butterscotch finishing with a nutty oakiness, some faint vanilla. Lemme get a bottle!

  2. Chris Demeule says:

    5th edition revisited.

    On the nose I get a little butterscotch blended with the pleasant smell of an old home. Maybe my grandmother is making a pudding in the kitchen.. love it.

    The flavor is, like yesterday, a lot like the bourbon cask it was finished with. Delicate fruits blended into some airy cake. I like it but the complexity is lacking – I think if this same dram was put into a new oak cask for a year or 2 the bitter notes it would go from good to amazing.

    The finish does not linger very long and I keep chasing it. 7.5/10

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