Whisky-Fässle has never been the most prolific independent bottler, but have usually bottled very high-quality whisky. However, even by owner Jens Unterweger’s standards 2022 was a quiet year. Today’s Braeval 2009 12 Years was one of only two whiskies released.
Braeval (or Braes of Glenlivet) is one of the more obscure distilleries in Scotland. I was honestly surprised to learn that I had reviewed four other expressions of theirs. Which also tells you something about how memorable (or not memorable) those other tasting experiences were.
Here’s something you probably don’t care about: I could’ve sworn I had driven past Braeval a number of times, but I think I might be mistaken. I was convinced it was located somewhere along the B9009 from Glenlivet Distillery to Dufftown, but upon checking Google Maps there’s no distillery to be found there.
Braeval is relatively close to The Glenlivet but not exactly located on a through road. That leaves me just completely confused now. My memory seems to be playing tricks on me. The image of driving past Braeval is almost burned into me retina.
But like I said, why should you care. So, here’s my review…
Braeval 2009 12 Years (52.1%, Whisky-Fässle, 2022)
Nose: Plenty of zesty oranges to kick things off, with apple cider, apricots and lemon sponge cake too. There’s cruesli, pot ale and porridge somewhere in here as well. Not literally of course. Taste: An immediate return to the nose with plenty of citrus influence and gentle stone fruits. But not for too long, as the wood slightly takes over. A hint of burnt toast, some crème caramel, ginger and white pepper. Finish: Spices move into the background and make way for pickled oranges, apricots and caramel. Medium in length.
It's pretty straightforward, but does everything rather well. There's a definite fruitiness in this Braeval from Whisky-Fässle that doesn't always deliver. The oak can be dominant at times, which distracts from this whiskies better qualities.