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Scotch Whisky Legends: Royal Brackla 1975 27 Year Old “Green” Brackla

The Royal Brackla 1975 27 Year Old “Green” Brackla

Royal Brackla Distillery, located just south of the coastal town of Nairn, was the first scotch whisky distillery to be granted the royal seal of approval, in the form of the Royal Warrant. 

A favorite of King William IV and his successor, Queen Victoria, the distillery has been producing “The King’s Own Whisky” since 1835. 

This week on Scotch Whisky Legends, let’s take a look at one of Serge Valentin’s favorite Royal Brackla whiskies: the Royal Brackla 1975 27 Year Old “Green” Brackla. I wonder if King Charles III has had a dram of this one? 

The Royal Brackla 1975 27 Year Old “Green” Brackla 

This Royal Brackla is an elusive and legendary bottle in scotch whisky circles. Distilled at Royal Brackla in 1975, the whisky was bottled on the 28th of October 2002 by The Whisky Exchange, just three years after the online retailer’s establishment. 

Bottled from single cask #5471, only 204 bottles were produced at an impressive cask strength of 59.7% ABV. 

The whisky is named “Green” Brackla due to a very slight green hue in the liquid, as is noted by the tasting notes printed on the front of the bottle: “Olive Oil Green”. This strange green tinge may be on account of the “unknown” cask type in which the whisky was matured. 

In addition to the quirky name and color, the label also opts to list the angel’s share of the cask (how much of the whisky was lost to evaporation during the maturation period), as well as the distillery’s year of founding (1812). 

Serge Valentin’s Tasting Notes on the Royal Brackla 1975 27 Year Old “Green” Brackla

Legendary whisky reviewer, Serge Valentin of WhiskyFun, sampled this whisky in 2005. Let’s see what he had to say: 

Colour: bronze. 

Nose: extremely complex right at first nosing, starting on all sorts of fruit jams (plums, oranges – not marmalade – blackberries…) and on hot praline. Lots of chestnut honey, vanilla-flavoured chestnut cream, starting to develop towards some superb waxy notes. Furniture polish, ‘natural’ shoe polish, beeswax… Then you get quite some chocolate and toffee, something nicely cardboardy and whiffs of peppermint. Hints of wine sauce… What a superb nose, so complex! 

Mouth: very playful, with again all the fruit jams, the praline, the waxy notes and the mint, but much less chocolate. Rather coffee… Lots of crystallized oranges. There are some tannins but of the silky kind. What a body! 

“The finish is very long and complex, going on with the same ‘mix’ of flavours. Just superb. 92 points.” – Serge Valentin, WhiskyFun, December 2005 

Auction Prices (or a lack thereof) 

Yet again on Scotch Whisky Legends, a bottle gives new meaning to the word ‘elusive’. There are only two records of this bottle ever having sold at auction: one for £963 in August 2022, and one in February 2023 for £1,585

Given the rarity of this bottle, those prices were (in my humble opinion), an absolute steal. This comes into particular focus when you consider that the majority of these bottles were likely opened and drunk when they were first sold. Scotch whisky was not widely considered a luxury asset in 2002, despite some distilleries attempting to ‘premiumize’ around this time (see The Dalmore and The Macallan), so many of these bottles will have been enjoyed.  

So, if you happen to have one of these sitting in your drinks cabinet at home, you are in possession of a true scotch whisky rarity… 

A Brief History of Royal Brackla 

Royal Brackla Distillery

Brackla Distillery, founded in 1812 by Captain William Fraser, is located near Cawdor in the Scottish Highlands. It holds the prestigious title of being the first scotch whisky distillery to receive a Royal Warrant in 1835, after which it was renamed Royal Brackla. This significant honor earned Royal Brackla whisky the nickname “The King’s Own Whisky.” 

Over the years, Royal Brackla continued to thrive and uphold its royal distinction. In 1943, the distillery was acquired by John Dewar & Sons, a company with a rich heritage in the whisky trade. John Dewar & Sons, itself part of the larger Bacardi group and owner of Aberfeldy Distillery, has been instrumental in maintaining Royal Brackla’s legacy of excellence. Under their stewardship, the distillery has seen significant investment and modernization, ensuring that its whisky remains of the highest standard. This is encapsulated by the numerous accolades awarded to Royal Brackla and the Dewar’s team, including Master Blender Stephanie Macleod

In recent years, the brand underwent a relaunch thanks to investment from Bacardi, seeing a range of age-statement single malts matured in varying ex-sherry casks take center stage. The visitor experience at the distillery was also expanded.

Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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