In 2017 Diageo surprised many whisky enthusiasts by removing Brora from the yearly Special Releases, something that was later explained by the news of the re-opening of the distillery in 2020.
To mark the 200th anniversary of the distillery’s (original) opening Diageo vatted 12 American oak hogsheads from 1978. They filled 1819 bttles – the foundation year indeed.
Brora 40 yo 1978 (49,2%, OB ‘200th Anniversary’ 2019, 1819 btl.)
Nose: wonderfully sweet and fruity. There’s European fruit (stewed golden apples, grapes, figs) as well as raisins and some tropical notes of grilled pineapple and papaya. Typical waxy / resinous notes. Gentle peat smoke really. Hints of menthol and verbena, teak oil and leather. A subtle dustiness, a few drops of diesel even. Elegant and complex. In line with the last few Special Releases, rather great.
Mouth: oily, leathery texture with a piercing salty and peppery side. Marmalade. Camphor and peppermint, herbal tea and some tannins as well. Cold smoke, more prominent than on the nose. Flashes of pink grapefruit. Mustard seeds. The waxy and minty theme is excellent.
Finish: long (but not very), with more minty smoke and citrus, soft pepper and earthy notes.
A cracking whisky, with a lovely mix of fruits and warm waxy notes on the nose. Slightly thinner on the palate, with hints of high age shining through on the palate. Beautiful. Still available for around… € 5000.