Ben Bracken Speyside NAS 40% ABV

ben bracken speyside

Widely thought to be Tamnavulin. Bottled at 40% ABV for Lidl supermarkets.

Appearance: Lager amber. The hairline swirl mark quickly beads and morphs into small teardrops. Medium legs form after a while. A semi-viscous film clings to the glass.

Nose: Lots of vanilla raspberry ripple ice cream and honey. Christmas spices and some oak are also in the mix. That confectionary sugar sweetness builds quickly and soon becomes the prominent note. Foam sweets, especially those false teeth!
Strawberry Bon Bons and rhubarb and custard sweets. It’s verging on being too sweet.
The alcohol on the nose isn’t as light as I’d expect from a 40, which is a pleasant surprise.

Palate: A thin mouthfeel (but not as thin as some of the same ABV). The high sweetness is consistent with the nose. Still plenty of vanilla and honey, now with subtle eucalyptus and those Christmas spices. A trace of very slight blood orange bitterness and a faint copper tinge.
It’s a very light dram, that diluted feel.

Finish: A little heat on the chest, more of a token warmth than the usual whisky hug! The sweeter elements and a little black pepper linger for a medium amount of time.

Overall: It’s not going to light anyone’s fire but it’s OK. The price point of £18 is probably fair.

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