Royal Brackla 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky Review

It doesn’t matter whether you sip yours neat, with spring water, in a cocktail, or any other way, if you’re a whisky fan you’ll know that there is no shortage of fabulous whiskies out there to choose from.

While whisky lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a whisky they enjoy, some of these single malts are most certainly more desirable than others.

Lately, a single malt turning heads, in the upper-mid-price range, which many consider to be of a premium quality, is Royal Brackla 18 Year Old Single Malt, finished in a Paolo Cortado Sherry Cask.

With so many people now showing such a keen interest in this single malt, we thought it fitting to provide a brief, yet detailed, review to show you what the fuss is all about and to convince you to hopefully treat yourself to a bottle or two.

The Royal Brackla Distillery

Built in 1812 by Captain William Fraser of Brackla House, located on the estate of Cawdor Castle, this is one of the most prestigious distilleries in all of the Highlands.

By the year 1833, the Brackla Distillery became the first whisky distillery to receive the honour of being granted a royal warrant by none other than King William IV. It is, to this day, only one of three distilleries to bear the name ‘royal’ in its title. This alone shows you that you’re dealing with a very special distillery.

Currently owned by Bacardi, the distillery features 2 wash and 2 spirit stills, with a capacity of 3, 500, 000 litres.

Royal Brackla 18 Year Old

Royal Brackla offer a series of single malts, with entry level whiskies, premium quality whiskies, and single malts in between. The 18 Year Old sits firmly in the middle.

The 18 Year Old is matured in Paolo Cortado Sherry casks. This particular type of sherry is very rare, sitting somewhere between an Amontillado and an Oloroso. Paolo Cortado Sherry comes about as a result of just the right amount of oxidation, and achieving it is more about luck than it is skill. This is one of the main reasons why the 18 Year Old Royal Brackla Single Malt, is considered such a special beast.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson, let’s learn about the whisky itself. The 18 Year Old packs a punch at 46% ABV. It is a stunning golden yellow colour and has taken on a great deal of sherry characteristics.

This is a rich and fruity sipper that will warm your cockles on a blustery winter’s night.

On the nose you immediately get vanilla and spiced biscuits, with a hint of Cornish clotted cream.

On the palate when you take that first sip you’re rewarded with poached pears, plums, and ripe peaches. These give way to warm winter spices, crunchy demerara sugar, and buttery Scottish shortbread with a suggestion of toffee.

The finish is smooth and drawn out, with whispers of smoked oak, candied apricots, and zesty lemons.

If you’re on the lookout for a new single malt or two to add to your collection, be sure to head on over to and browse the huge collection of rare and award-winning whiskies they currently have for sale.

Tags: Royal Brackla 18Royal Brackla distillery


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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