Braeval 13, 1998 (Signatory)

Braeval 13, 1998, SignatoryThis 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.

10 thoughts on “Braeval 13, 1998 (Signatory)

  1. Did I highly recommend it? Maybe I was trying to get rid of it. My extensive notes for this are: “Not impressive”. There was a metallic/industrial edge that prevented me from really getting into it, despite repeated tries. I’m considering banning Braeval in Andorra altogether.

    Now, if you were thinking of the XM Fettercairn which you forgot to ask for, that’s a very different matter!


  2. Probably confused it with the Brackla you sent me. Glad to know you view our sample swaps as an opportunity to dispose of things you don’t like.


        • And let me just say that I would not knowingly deprive you of the chance to form a bad opinion about a particular distillery.

          Also: every sample of bad whisky is a bad bottle you didn’t buy – it’s like money in the bank.


        • The only time I offered up crumbum whisky that wasn’t a historical curiosity was Ardbeg Galileo. But some people actually like the stuff, so I was hoping the excess I owned (and still own) would find a more welcoming home. Wisely you turned it down.


          • I don’t actually think it’s crummy in the sense that Cutty Sark and Speyside 12yo are crummy. But I’ve gone through about 16 fl oz and its pleasures are still a mystery to me. Even better, you’ve now helped rid me of the guilt I carried for having offered it up for swaps. My confession was successful.

            Now I’m thinking you may find some positives in the Leviathan II as much as Prez Florin did…


          • I lied. It’s the Alligator I still have an unopened bottle of (emptied the first). All I have left of my bottle of the Galileo is a 6 oz reference sample. Should probably review it at some point. Perhaps along with the Ardbog next month—I’ve been threatening to review that one for some time now.


    • Oh, you’re *definitely* confusing it with the Royal Brackla – which I loved. I saved samples of it for you and Michael and sent them long after the bottle was gone – speaking of ethical treatment of whisky kin!

      Can’t blame you mixing them up. Both start with B – there are just damn too many distilleries in Scotland! – and both were Binny’s exclusives. But the Brackla was a G&M, and good whisky.


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