Three old ones from Brora

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 %

Brora 1979 30 YO 8th Release (2009) The first Brora was the Brora 1979 30 YO 8th Release from Diageo. The outturn was 2652 bottles.

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.

Score (92/100)

Brora 1982 28 YO Connoisseurs Choice, 43 %

Brora 1982 28 YO Connoisseurs ChoiceThe second whisky was the Brora 1982 28 YO Connoisseurs Choice from Gordon and MacPhail. Distilled January 1982, and bottled October 2010. Matured in a refill sherry butt.

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.

Score (89/100)

Brora 35 YO 11th Release (2012), 48,1 %

Brora 35 YO 11th Release (2012)The third and last Brora of the day was the Brora 35 YO 11th Release from Diageo. The outturn for this one was 1566 bottles. It was released in 2012.

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!

Score (92/100)

Sláinte! - Thomas

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