This Braeval comes to me from Florin, the president-elect of Andorra, who I think recommended it highly. Then again, Florin is the source of 50% of the whiskies I have scored below 75 points so who knows what that means. Let’s get to it.
Braeval 13, 1998 (56.9%; Signatory; cask 168863; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Lime and lime zest with a bit of a herbal/rooty edge. A fair bit of malt too and sugar. Gets more peppery as it goes and a little bit grassy. Gets a little creamier with more time and there’s more vanilla as well; the lime recedes a bit. Creamier still with water and then the lime comes back.
Palate: Peppery lime with the malt and sugar on the back-end; just as on the nose. A little bit of smoke under the nose, if I’m not mistaken. Yes, I don’t think I’m mistaken: there’s a bit of minerally smoke, and some wet stones too. Sweeter and more peppery with water, not as much lime.
Finish: Long. The peppery lime transitions into mostly just pepper and the vanilla shows up too later along with the wet stones. The pepper expands with water and that lick of smoke makes a late sooty return.
Comments: I quite liked the peppery lime and the unexpected bit of smoke. Still, it got just a little too straightforwardly sweet for me, bordering on cloying. I was hoping for a musky turn that never quite came—perhaps I didn’t get the water right. A very nice summer sipper though.
Rating: 83 points.
Thanks to Florin for the sample.