Scotch By Nino Marchetti / April 14, 2014 $15,000 can buy you a lot of good bottles of Scotch, or it could perhaps buy you one awesome bottle of something you’ll more likely keep under lock and key versus cracking open for those nights you have the guys over for poker. A new release from the Royal Brackla distillery, which is owned by spirits giant Bacardi, fits squarely into the latter choice in the form of a 35 year old offering available exclusively at travel retail in Singapore’s Changi Airport.The Royal Brackla 35 Year Old whisky, according to Bacardi, is at 49% ABV cask strength and will be limited to just 100 standard size bottles. It is obviously targeted at the uber-affluent Scotch collector who is looking to get his or her hands on what’s described as “a rare and refined, luxury single malt.”Now in the world of Scotch it is often hard to understand how some 35 year old whiskies can price this high, while others are but a mere fraction of the cost. At first glance the packaging, while certainly spectacular, isn’t necessarily drizzled in gold or diamonds. It is said instead that both bottle and presentation box carry the distillery’s master crest, which was inspired by a past English king’s monogram. This king, one William IV has his royal influence reflected in that “the crest and filigree pattern on the crown are inspired by the emblem and detailing of the swords awarded to the king’s officers. This is carried trough to the braided pillars of the burgundy presentation box, created in the style of a sword grip.” Also of note is that the bottle design “takes inspiration from the symbols of royalty: the crown holding the bottle; the orb represented by the sphere of the bottle; and the scepter, symbolized by the crystal stopper.”Tasting notes, per the distillery, are presented below. This whisky, which was finished in sherry casks, heralds from an operation that first opened in 1812 and that has the historical distinction of being the first Scotch whisky distillery to ever be granted a royal warrant.ColourShimmering auburnAromaRich, complex and luxuriously smooth, the signature character of the whisky, and the wood in which it has rested, complement one another beautifully. Subtle green leafy and fresh notes of juicy apples become enveloped in a sphere of rich buttery toffee and velvety notes of vanilla. This melts slowly to reveal aromatic spices, perhaps of cinnamon and star anise, reminiscent of a moist ginger cake. The complex notes of the sherry wood are finally revealed, with plump vine fruits, and the zesty peel of citrus.TasteThe palate is sweet and enticing, like smooth, dark chocolate, which melts slowly to reveal a biscuity base on which settles tingling spices. Each sip, and if preferred, the addition of still water reveals yet more precious gems of flavour, with a zing of menthol and rich ground coffee.Mouth feel and FinishSmooth, mouth-filling and velvety with a pleasantly lingering finish of delicately scented oak.