Single malt whisky - tasting notes

07 Dec 2013

Brora 35 years old (2013)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Brora

WhiskyNotes' 5th birthday

 

Diageo’s Special Releases 2013 have started to arrive in stores (at least in the UK), so what better way to celebrate 5 years of WhiskyNotes than with the new Brora 35 Year Old?

 

Brora 35 2013While last year’s Brora 35yo (2012) was a mix of 1976 / 1977 casks, all refill American oak, I’ve been told the new one is composed of casks filled in 1977, and both refill American oak and European oak.

Even with the € 900 price tag, shops don’t seem to have problems in selling their allocation…

 

 

Brora 35 Years 1977 - 12th release 2013Brora 35 years old 1977 (49,9%, OB 2013, 12th Annual release, 2944 btl.)

Nose: starts fresh and lively, very much old Clynelish style. Honey, apricots / pineapple, a little vanilla and lots of trademark waxy notes. Polished furniture, hints of coconut oil. Then it changes with some emerging herbal notes, peat and earthy notes. Sharpish lemongrass and seaweed. A little wet wool in the background, as well as a whiff of smoke, but it’s not the farmy Brora of earlier in the 1970s. Mouth: first a wave of coastal / earthy notes (seaweed, hay) and herbs. Quite salty. Only a bit later do the fruits appear: lemon (both zest and candy) and some yellow grapefruit. Smokier and slightly more severe than last year – which means none of the tropical fruits of last year. Waxy / resinous notes. Ashes and a late chocolate sweetness. Liquorice and menthol, eucalyptus, getting quite medicinal towards the end. Finish: long, sharper with a leathery dryness. Mint and ashes with plenty of wood spices.

 

When comparing it to my notes of last year’s Brora, I think this is a move towards more minerals, more wood, more peat smoke. Some would say back to Brora after a few Clynelish years. Nonetheless the lower complexity and bigger austerity make me prefer the former version. But still an excellent Brora and an extraordinary whisky altogether.

Score: 93/100

Brora 35 years old (2013) 5 Ruben Luyten 2013-12-07
  • whiskycuse

    Hi Ruben,

    Congratulations and best wishes from Berlin!

    Cheers Marcus

  • Joeri

    Congratulations Ruben! Only 5 years young and such an important reference. Hope there will be enough great releases to fill another 5.
    Joeri
    Karuizawawhisky.com

  • Jacopo (WhiskyFacile)

    Kudos to you, Ruben, and thanks for making us all envious for this great dram…! Eheh, congratulations, for real.

  • Bastian

    Congratulations. One of my favourite Whisky blogs.
    Bastian

  • elskling

    Congrats on your 5 years, great work, great reference blog !
    From Paris, Steph

  • Michael

    I am late but please accept my Congratulations and thanks, Ruben.

  • WhiskyNotes

    Thanks everyone.

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  • WhiskyNotes: Good point Diego, it's important to coat the glass with whisky indeed. It helps it to evaporate and bring out the aromas, and take away the residuals
  • Diego Sandrin: i agree, N.5. The way i use it is i fill it up 2cl and then put it flat (horizontal) on the table, don't fill it more than 2cl or it will spill out, a
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1820 notes by Ruben

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