Last year we celebrated out first Christmas online with a fantastic 1977 Brora, we can’t deny how satisfying it was… So we waited again for Santa Claus in perfect peace with the world, in a static of mystic ecstasy, of moral asceticism, despite all the daily struggles. Let’s see if the miracle repeats itself also this year; let’s open a sample that stares at us from the top shelf since few months, it comes directly from the tasting room of the Clynelish Distillery: the Brora Special Release 2009, 30 years and 53,2% abv. Color is light gold.
N: at the beginning it seems one of those very peaty and smoky versions… The abv is all there, you feel it, but it doesn’t block an explosion of very intense aromas: a buttery sweetness (biscuits, almonds, cake dough, hence vanilla) and the fruit (orange, dried figs, dried plums… more in general it seems like a very ripe fruit basket) manage to keep in the background the signatory notes of shed and wet woof, typical of Brora. They’re there, just a bit hidden while you can easily feel the wax. And again: honey, licorice, a bit of spices and balsamic/aromatic herbs (let’s say anice, nutmeg, artemisia), and something peppery (combined with the smoky side it suggests even a bacon feeling!). last but not the list, sometimes some quiet mineral suggestions appear, they seem even brackish; and perhaps yes, they are.
P: the very generous smokiness is confirmed, and it starts again just for a moment, but very intense, with those peppery and marine suggestions. It arrives, the flavor hit, the sweet hit: honey, sweet chocolate, aromatic pipe tobacco, lot of orange (candied). Notes of tea. Cane sugar, suggestions of tropical fruit and red apple… At the end of the review we read what Serge writes: he mentions “mustard”, and we got to say, in retrospective, we can feel it!
F: discrete but persistent, still an arrogant smokiness (same mouth feeling you have after smoking a pipe); burnt wood, a persistent sweetness of sugar an honey.
We really avoided adding water to this jewel: we add just 2/3 drops at the very end, where we faced a real fruit explosion, in particular at the palate. This rises our vote of one point, so we go for 92/100; Needless to say, this Brora is really amazing even if we fully agree with Serge and Ruben when they label it as a bit less Broresque than other versions, indeed because of the lack of those very peculiar farmy notes. Good stuff anyway, very good stuff. Cheers!
Recommended soundtrack: Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve been loving you.