Chieftain’s Braeval 23 Year (1996)

Scotch Whisky Review #159: Chieftain’s Braeval 23 Year (1996)

Distillery: Braeval

Bottler: Ian MacLeod

Region: Speyside

Price: $42 for a pour during happy hour at Proof in Omaha, NE.

ABV: 53.1%

Age: 23 Year (Distilled July 1996, Bottled August 2019)

Color: 0.8, Deep Gold. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered


Nose: It smells like apple cider with the fizz and all! There’s a bit of malt along with a very sugary bubblegum note.

Palate: It’s on the sweet side. The sugary bubblegum (think HubbaBubba

) from the nose is back and dominates the palate here. Vanilla, malt biscuits, and the green apple Jolly Ranchers accompany the bubblegum. It’s slightly on the harsher side but nothing a few drops of water doesn’t handle. After some water is added, the bubblegum note intensifies and the green apple is harder to find.

Finish: Medium to long in length. There’s a really fun sour green apple candy note and then some more of the bubblegum.

Conclusion: My wife has often described me in the whisky aisle as a “kid in the candy store”. This whisky might be taking that a bit literally. Sugary bubblegum is present throughout here. It’s joined by some regular green apple and some sour green apple candies. The bit of malt in here helps balance out the sugar a little bit and give it some depth along with the vanilla. Overall, lots of fun. Would I buy a bottle? Maybe, but definitely a fun one to try.

Final Score: 80.

Scotch Whisky Review #159, Speyside Review #66, Whisky Network Review #213


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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