Three old ones from Brora
I was supposed to attend a 'super tasting' with three whiskies from Brora and three whiskies from Port Ellen recently. A business trip prevented me from attending, but through the help of good friends I was still able to get a set of samples of the whiskies. I subsequently held my own little half-blind tasting at home. So here are the results for the three Broras. I did not know which of the six whiskies were Brora and which were Port Ellen until I had finished my tasting. I must say it was quite challenging trying to identify them all, as these are quite old whiskies, and I have not tried many Brora previously. It was a lot of fun though.
Brora 1979 30 YO 8th Release (2009) , 53,2 %
Nose (22/25): Vanilla, mild, soft - quite nice. A hint of smoke, more pronounced after a sip. Some ginger and mild citrus and some mint. A bit on the shy side.
Taste (24/25): Lots of caramel and oranges. Quite dark, rich, full bodied. I love it! Attacks the whole palate, pounding each and every single taste bud – but in the nicest possible way!
Finish (23/25): Warm, rich, heavy and complex. Vanilla pudding, chocolate filled with orange marmalade, thick syrup, and the slightest hint of bitterness. Warm and lingering.
Balance (23/25): A lovely, lovely dram. But very heavy. It is so loving it feels a bit claustrophobic – I’m smothered.
Brora 1982 28 YO Connoisseurs Choice, 43 %
Nose (22/25): Fresh, citrusy, a bit acidic, is there a hint of sherry notes in the background here? A hint of rubberband. Cannot detect any peat on the nose here.
Taste (22/25): Milk chocolate, a delicate puff of smoke, slightly chewy mouth feel. Lots of ginger, some pepper – a bit spicy this one.
Finish (23/25): Spicy, long and medium warm. The smoke tends more towards smoking ember. The chocolate turns darker - it is chocolate mousse and mocca now.
Balance (22/25): A great dram.
Brora 35 YO 11th Release (2012), 48,1 %
Nose (22/25): Fruity and soft. Slightly waxy and a bit shy. Sweet, ginger beer. The slightest touch of peat.
Taste (23/25): Spicy, waxy, fruity. Apples, sugar, simple syrup, and ginger. Full bodied, rich and complex. Peat lurking in the background, almost completely hidden.
Finish (24/25): Sugary and fruity, a bit of honey – honey coated, baked apples, perhaps. Warm and lingering. Very nice finish. Sublime, I would say. It just hits the perfect note, and keeps it. Steady as a rock! 3 AM eternal! Wow!
Balance (23/25): Fantastic dram, and the best of the evening!
Sláinte! - Thomas