Brechin (also known as 'North Port') is not a widely available single malt. The distillery was founded in 1820 and closed time and again for shorter periods until it was mothballed in 1983 and afterwards slowly dismantled. This expression was distilled in 1977, matured in refill American oak casks and bottled in 2005 with a total outturn of 2,040 bottles. It is the first official bottling of Brechin/North Port - three semi-official bottlings in Diageo's Rare Malt series were released in 1995, 1998 and 1999.
The nose starts with very light notes of honey and apples. Next there are lemon and porridge flavours, followed by a whiff of smoke. An interesting mixture of sweetness and 'austerity'.
The palate is medium-bodied and a bit spicy. The honey and porridge flavours are back, now together with notes of cornflakes, wood shavings and cardboard. Again, there are traces of smoke. Quite austere.
The finish is of medium length and dry, and has notes of vanilla and ginger, followed by flavours of cardboard. Also a touch grassy.
Definitely an interesting and intriguing single malt. A bit too austere and dry for my taste but clearly a high quality product.