All about making whisky
Founded in 1812, Brackla, also known under the name Royal Brackla, became the property of John Dewars & Sons Ltd (Bacardi) in 1998. In the 19th century, it was one of only three distilleries to be awarded the ‘Royal’ epithet by King William IV, and then by Queen Victoria in 1838. At the time, Brackla was extremely well-reputed. Its malt, highly-prized by blenders including Walkers and Dewars, was behind the first commercial success in the blending industry, created by Andrew Usher at the end of the 1850s.
This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.
Of all the existing specialist bottling ranges, Connoisseurs Choice is without doubt the oldest. The label underwent a few changes in the 1980s. Plainer and more restrained, it became two-toned with creams and browns. When segmentation by region of production region was adopted by the whisky industry in the early 1990s, the range changed its identity again. The label now shows a map of the region of Scotland where the malt comes from. To the delight of whisky enthusiasts, the range, which is always evolving, is now bottled at 43% and 46%.