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Three new Last Great Malts from Royal Brackla

John Dewar & Sons has unveiled a new range of proprietary bottlings from Royal Brackla distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest and most venerable distilleries.

The new Royal Brackla portfolio of single malt Scotch whiskies consists of three age statements, each bottled at 40% ABV: Royal Brackla 12 year-old, 16 year-old and 21 year-old. They will be available initially in ten markets from September, including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, US, and global travel retail.

The packaging for all the whiskies in John Dewar’s The Last Great Malts of Scotland range has been designed by Stranger and Stranger, London.

Standing in the Cawdor Estate, Royal Brackla Distillery was established in 1812 by Captain William Fraser who returned to the family farm after military service and took advantage of the fine barley it grew. Within 25 years his distillery’s reputation for spirit of sterling taste received its crowning moment when King William IV bestowed ‘Royal’ status to Brackla, in 1835. It thus became the first Scotch to garner a royal warrant, a revelation that led to its nickname: ‘The King’s Own Whisky’.

Traditional production techniques help to protect a distilling heritage that spans more than two centuries and preserves the unparalleled quality of a rather special spirit. To allow for the development of intriguing complexity and fruitiness, extra time is taken at the fermentation stage, which acts for up to 80 hours; far longer than most Scottish distilleries.

The notably tall stills run at an unusually slow pace. Their height allows plenty of reflux, with the leisurely nature of the operation increasing the contact that the spirit shares with copper, thus filtering out unwanted sulphury notes. Instead, delicate and lightly perfumed notes of grass and green foliage develop, alongside inviting fruity aromas. Crucially, the whisky is finished in premium first-fill sherry casks, enriching it with notes of muscovado sweetness and dates, alongside opulent walnuts.

Stephen Marshall, Bacardi’s global marketing manager – single malts says: “This is the one that was described as ‘The Drink Divine’ by the Royal household in the 1830s, that’s no small claim, so we had to take our time and the entire team have done an amazing job that really does justice to Royal Brackla’s incredible heritage. There’s only one whisky in the world that can be the first Royal whisky, I feel privileged to have worked on this.”

The single malt brand of Royal Brackla is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. For more information on the new single malt expressions, the five distilleries, tasting notes, crafting, and heritage, visit

25 August 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor