Single malt whisky - tasting notes

14 Aug 2010

Brora 1981 (Douglas Laing Platinum)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Brora

As you may know, one my favourite drams so far is a 30yo Brora 1976 by Douglas Laing. It goes without saying that I’m on the lookout for similar bottles. This is one of them, although 1981 is usually a lesser year than 1976 for the distillery. Like the other one, this sherry cask is released in the Old & Rare Platinum series of Douglas Laing, and there are just 93 bottles!


Brora 1981/2009 DL Platinum Brora 28 yo 1981 (57,4%,
Douglas Laing Old & Rare Platinum 2009, 93 bottles)

Nose: starts rather prickly and sharp. Wet dogs, leaves, drying hay, walnuts… A vegetal kind of farminess this time, no sheep involved… Anything but sweet, although this changes over time with some dried fruits, ginger ale and even coconut shining through. There’s also a Karuizawa kind of gunpowder, quite uncommon. Complex yet different from the 1970’s style. Gets more grassy with water, and it shows hints of tobacco. Mouth: again very vegetal, with leaves and sharp peat. Lemon balm. Hints of tobacco. Very herbal and grassy now. A lot less subtle than how I remember the 1976. When water is added, there’s wax to be found. Finish: long, on sharp peat and some pepper. Hints of gunpowder again.

This Brora is not as brilliant as its older brother, but it’s still excellent with a few unique touches. A bit too austere for me to get a higher score, but maybe you like this type of Brora more than I do. One problem: it’s around € 450 which I find quite hefty – the official Brora 30 yo’s are better value.

Score: 91/100

Brora 1981 (Douglas Laing Platinum) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-08-14

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  • WhiskyNotes: You're right, it is a refill bourbon cask. Sorry if I suggested otherwise, but I believe a single cask can never be 80% sherry and 20% bourbon like th
  • Tabrulavubeg: I've tried the 18yo Single Cask yesterday. It's really quite good, but from Ruben's conclusion "an exquisite version of this already really good dram"
  • Johan Andersson: Yes this cask is really fantastic. If you did the Cadenhead Warehouse tasting with Grant MacPherson in Campbeltown 2013 and until Open Day in May 2014

Coming up

  • Master of Malt Firecrackers
  • Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
  • Kavalan bourbon cask for Belgium
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Port Askaig 19 Year Old
  • Bladnoch 1992 (The Nectar)
  • Ledaig 2005 (Maltbarn)

1664 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.