Single malt whisky - tasting notes

22 Nov 2012

Brora 35 years old (2012)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Brora

BroraLast year’s Brora 32 years old introduced older expressions, after a series of 30 year-olds and one 25 year-old. The latest version contains whisky distilled during 1976 and 1977 – that’s 35 years and therefore the oldest Brora ever. It is made up of refill American oak casks.

Last year I wrote “it’s kinda worth € 350”, I’m not sure this can be repeated with this year’s inflated price tag of nearly € 600.

 

 

Brora 35 years old 2012Brora 35 years old
(48,1%, OB 2012, refill American oak, 11th Annual release, 1566 btl.)

Nose: yes sir. Starts on white grape juice, evolving to pineapple juice, mixed with a peculiar waxiness that only Brora could produce. In between fat crayons, plasticine and Barbour grease I’d say. Hay. Luscious honeycomb aromas. There’s soot and petrol too, more so than last year’s release, but I wouldn’t call this really smoky. Plenty of coastal notes, especially after a while. Fresh eucalyptus and mint too. This shows more of the early 70s Brora profile than the last 30 year-olds, but on the other hand it doesn’t have their degree of farminess. You may say it’s closer to Clynelish than to Brora, but in that case you must have the best Clynelish in mind. Mouth: a little more peat and smoke now, more oak too, but it’s combined with a lovely medium tropical fruitiness (mango, passion fruits). Crystallized oranges. Lots of waxy notes again, some mineral flavours. Aniseed and soft liquorice. Faint hints of cough drops. A pinch of salt towards the end (seaweed?). Finish: fairly long, fairly dry, waxy and leathery. Just a hint of coal ashes.

A wonderful Brora again, quite extraordinary in terms of complexity and unique flavours. More minerals than last year, something in between old Clynelish and late 70s Brora. Most people seem to find this is slightly better than the 2011 release, I’m giving them the same score until I can do a proper head-to-head. Around € 500-600 – too expensive but nevertheless hard to find already.

Score: 94/100

Brora 35 years old (2012) 5 Ruben Luyten 2012-11-22
  • Ricardo

    I’d love to be the proud owner of a bottle. Anyone willing to float me a loan?

  • Michael

    Brora = insane good whisky, unfortunately also insane prices…

  • Raphael Ajchenrand

    Market economy, my friends, not so much to do with ‘worth’… Are the many glorious independant bottlings out there, at a fraction of the price, worth less ?

  • WhiskyNotes

    When was the last time you saw an independent Brora? I’ve seen two or three at best during the last few years…

  • Stuart Robson

    Another lovely OB Brora for sure. I favour the 32yo for its extra austerity and “Brora-ness” but regardless; excellent whisky.

  • Ricardo

    Yes, Brora is frequently excellent. Had a dram last Saturday.

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

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  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
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  • Fettercairn Fior
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1601 notes by Ruben

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