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Thee Brora! O sadly lost! Scotland lament frae coast to coast! No need to introduce Brora here, we all know the legendary distillery. On its yearly commemoration of former glory Diageo asks us to clean out our pockets for the last few expensive drops of this peated highlander. Today’s whisky was the 9th edition, made available to the public in 2010. I was very lucky to procure a sample, at a price of course. But as I already discovered Brora unfortunately is worth every dime.
Description: distilled in 1980, matured in both bourbon and sherry casks, released in 2010 as the 9th annual release by Diageo.
Nose: it just breaths complexity, a pièce de résistance of delicately scented orange blossom, dried grass and rose water. Of course the aroma of machine oil with a subtle hint of peat is never too far off. Sea spray, soft vanilla, peach, ginger and marjoram complete the ensemble. (with water added: a fruitier touch of apricots and peach develops, nevertheless it is the saltiness that benefits the most from this drop of water)
Mouth: rich but elegant, a salty lemon cream with all the farmy grassiness that you’d come to expect from a Brora. Fine grind grey pepper, sunflower oil, the footprint of peat smoke and a touch of tar. All richly covered in almond butter, cod oil and dare I say marmite? (with water added: notes of peat finally show their face and the lemon becomes much more outspoken, but it is the almonds that turn the palate into a marzipan filled pastry.)
Finish: long, lingering and drying, with notes of olive oil, ash and salt
Verdict: it’s drams such as this that made me fall in love with whisky nin the first place: such complexity, such diversity in flavours! Some may sound a bit off or not necessarily enjoyable, but as a whole it just works. An honerable mention goes out to the finish: it just hits the spot, radiating energy through every muscle in your body. As I said before, unfortunately this Brora was worth every dime and more will follow.