Golden Salmon – upon first letting your nose draw close to it, you may detect hints of orange marmalade and honey; the first taste, meanwhile, may be better described as oaky with hints of stem. Though unlikely to be found in the sea, I am, of course, not talking about a rare breed of sweet water fish. No, what I’m trying to describe are a few of the characteristics of a Scottish whisky, namely Speyburn Bradan Orach single malt, with Bradan Orach meaning Golden Salmon.
While the Speyburn distillery has been around since 1897, making it only 6 years younger than of one of the better known Speyside distilleries –the Balvenie, it is unknown outside the realm of regular whiskey drinkers, at least in the UK (it has been said to be one of the top selling single malts in the US). In fairness, it has tough regional competition; Speyside hosts more distilleries than any other region of Scotland, 46 in total, including not only the Balvenie but also Glenfiddich and Macallan.
Though I live in Scotland, and have done for some time, I have only on one occasion had the pleasure of tasting Speyburn Bradan Orach – in fact, it was one of the first whiskys I can remember trying, so I guess you should give it as least part of the credit for my later interest in usquebaugh or water of life. So I am talking out of experience when I recommend this as a good first whisky, for those intrigued by the finer things Scotland has to offer, and at under $35 it shouldn’t burn too deep a hole in your pocket either.
Eye: bright, crisp, light golden
Nose: warm fruitiness with hints of orange marmalade, honey, ammoniac and stem.
Taste: much the same as the nose, but with an added hint of herbs.
Serve according to preference; with or without ice – though it is worth to note that water shouldn’t be needed, as may be with more potent and smoky whiskys. Bradan Orach is also a perfect candidate for a highland coffee (although its technically not from the highlands); simply pour a measure of Bradan Orach into a latte glass, add a bit of espresso and a teaspoon of brown sugar, top it with hot milk and finish with a layer of hand-whipped cream.
Want to buy this whisky? Available in: UK & World (click)