22 Nov 2012
Brora 35 years old (2012)
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Brora
Last 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
(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.