I’m not sure they are the best whiskies I’ve ever tasted, but some of them are close, and I still feel there’s something special about Brora 30 Year Old. When I started with whisky almost ten years ago, I thought of these bottles as the holy grails.
I can’t stop thinking Brora has been surpassed (in terms of collectability or auction values) by other legends like Karuizawa, The Macallan or Port Ellen. It’s less in the spotlight than it once was, or so it seems. Yet I still think it’s the connoisseurs choice with the most unique character.
Brora 30 yo (54,3%, OB 2010, 9th Edition, 2958 btl.)
Nose: smooth and rounded, with just a very subtle farmy note. Honey coated almonds with vanilla and marzipan. Oranges. Cinnamon cookies. It’s just the light coastal side, the waxy notes and distant peat that prove it’s really Brora. This is a rather great nose, just not very typical for the 30 year-olds. Could have been Clynelish as well.
Mouth: slightly sharper, with clearly more peat and a medicinal edge. Briny notes and a lemon / salt combo. Suddenly a whiff of dried apricot and vanilla custard, but then back to light mustard and herbal teas. Becomes more typically waxy with a drop of water.
Finish: long, with the warmer, waxy side balancing the herbal notes and lingering smoke.
Simply very good whisky, with fruity sweetness and subtle peat. On the other hand, the typical Brora features aren’t loud and clear. Water brings them to the fore. Originally around € 300, now around € 700 in auctions.