First distilled in 1897, Speyburn Bradan Orach Highland Single Malt hails from the northern edge of Rothes, right in the heart of the Speyside region of Scotland. The term “Bradan Orach” is Gaelic for Golden Salmon, a tribute to the famously plentiful salmon fishing that takes place in the River Spey. Interestingly, the Bradan Orach is sold without an aging statement making it a bit difficult to determine the liquid gold’s actual length of maturation, being a blend of old and you whisky which should offer aged complexity, while retaining youthful, fresh flavours. Regardless of its age, the Speyburn Bradan Orach was celebrated last year as the 2011 Gold Medal Winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and has quickly become one of the more popular lines within the Speyburn family, which is one of the most popular single malts in the USA, but not commonly accessible down under.
It certainly delivers on the combination of young fresh flavours and mature complex flavours. The freshness comes through as crispy granny smith apples and pears it is still a typical Speyside though with some barley sugar on the nose. This is very quickly displaced by an oaky and smoky flavour. These are the mature secondary flavours. The whisky has a long lingering finish which has hints of of a well matured white burgundy. The hue is a rich golden colour more likely to be representative a first fill ex bourbon barrels rather than refills. This would explain the distinct oaky flavour on the pallet, which combines beautifully with the smoky rich vanilla icecream. It is quite a savoury whisky from the older portions, with some nice light vibrancy.