Here it is. We’ve been waiting for this dram and now it’s here, in front of us: a 30 years old Brora, opened during the last Sacile whisky contest. Since we’re going to spend quite a lot of words in the review, we’ll cut the introduction here. Colour is fully golden.
N: there’s a background of peat and smoke, with the latter that seems to censor itself during the tasting – as a first testimony of the constant evolution of this dram. We love the waxy notes, hallmark of Brora and Clynelish; here waxiness comes with those musty notes of damp and dusty wood (old basements, if not farm), and then dances with oily and mineral notes. The sweetness, perfectly integrated, is on vanilla, ripe apples, raisins, orange marmalade… Nuances are almost neverending, with red fruits, figs, dates; and everything is surrounded by spices, with cloves, aniseed, nutmeg… With a few drops of water, only the smell of wet wood is worth the experience: the mineral and oily side seems to slow down a bit, while all the rest gets exhalted, in a triupmh of way too tipe oranges.
P: such a body!, so elegant. We’re welcomed by a blanket of smoke, and so we have to wander between licorice, dried fruit, raisins again, a lovely spiced woodiness… But this whisky changes from sip to sip, and every time there’s new frills and layers: waxiness is back, coconut and vanilla are in business too, red fruits, sweet and delicate… A lot of honey, a lot of orange peel – especially with some water.
F: very long, neverending; we couldn’t believe that burnt wood could last so long, always sided by dried nuts and a pleasant complex sweetness (ripe and stewed fruit). It’s an almost new sensation: sweet smoke.
Hopefully we’ll be able to taste other Broras in the future – remeber that from 2001 there’s always a Brora in Diageo Special Releases range, but of course they’re rare and expensive. The profile is unique, though: those musty, almost farmy notes (which may not sound so catchy but believe us, they’re part of a wonderful complexity) are unique – we think we tasted something similar in old Taliskers only. Compared to a younger Brora we tasted a few time ago, these notes are slightly mitigated here, with more smokiness and a rounder profile. To make it short: excellent, complex, constantly evolving. Highly recommended, but beware: if you buy a bottle and don’t invite us when you open it, we’ll hate you. Forever. 93/100. Check this Ruben’s article on the origin of these peculiar farmy notes…
Recommended soundtrack: Royksopp – What else is there?, from the album The understanding.