I have had the pleasure of tasting the official releases from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. Each and every one of them were absolutely fabulous with the 6th Release from 2006 as overall best. It will not surprise you that I am very much looking forward to trying this 12th Release from 2013 (and that has nothing to do with the fact that it was distilled in the year that Star Wars hit the silver screen). The nose is sweeter than anticipated with mashed banana, juicy pears and a truckload of pineapple (I am not kidding), grapefruit and waxed wooden floors. Brown sugar. Very waxy. In the background I detect a bit of cow stable, wet earth and sweet peat. Hint of sea breeze. A leaf of mint. Nice smoky touch, but less than in other releases, making it more accessible. Subtle salty edge. But the emphasis is clearly on the sweetness. Boy, this is a very complex animal. Nicely mouth coating and oily with dark fruits and chocolate up front, liquorice and smoked salmon in the middle, ashes and smoke in the back. Very complex and layered palate. Very spicy too. Mustard and pepper. Mild medicinal character. The smoke becomes grand. The finish should be called a finale. Everything returns once more and more (try saying that three times in a row!), with the smoke slowly clearling to allow the dark sweet fruit one more moment in the spotlights. Flabbergasting! I would describe this Brora as ‘dark’. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll agree, I’m sure. This bottle will set you back between 1500 and 2000 EUR today. Excuse me? Yup, it is the sad truth. Thanks for the sample, Robin!