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This is my own personal bottle that I opened in October of 2013, and as of April it is about half full. I have tasted this bottle on 5 occasions with notes (83, 86, 86, 85, 83). The following represents my overall impression of this bottle as it relates to six different Brora’s tasted one night in April.
For bottle code people (like myself): L2227CM000 04172671
Some strange immediate peat and spice to start (after a lid has been on for 20 min). The peat is now dissipating . . . now gone . . . and I am left with sea salt coastal ocean mist. Behind that are some strong fruit notes: concord grapes, gala apples, and pears. There is malt and grain with a hint of wine influence coming through (a “light sherry dusting”). This is “farmy” without any of the authentic “farm” I love in Brora. The malt almost seems contrived and engineered. This is my classic “good” but “nothing fancy” nose. That first second after the lid had trapped the flavors was surprising and intriguing. Coming back after all the big brother Broras . . . this does seem much more like Grant’s Family Reserve: very fruity with faintest touch of peat and wax. The pears and apples really grew with time as did my score.
Fruity: pears, apples, wax, saw dust, orange peel, wood and a “hint” of that Brora tone (mustard) but you really have to look for it. There is a whisper of Brora here to be certain. Almost zero peat to speak of. You really have to hold this one in the mouth for it to develop to its full potential.
Nice spice on peaches, pears and apples. This as a light wave with nice spice on pears, apples and wax . . . with a whisper of peat. The fruit and wax is the main star here. I am getting some ozone and something like sitting beside a chlorine pool. The wax with hints of Brora’s “mustard” are there for those who strain to listen. It is a sad dirge to a wonderful old style of whisky. Not a star but something I would buy again for less then $50.
For all that I don’t like about this, it actually does a good job of balance. Where it fails is the “complexity.” I guess it does have three distinct flavors: fruit, wax, and malt. And they work well together. But everything is too muted on the nose and finish. Easily the least complex dram tonight (to be fair, the next youngest malt is 21 years old). However, it did have some fruit and spice to go along with the wax that definitely gave it some character. If Diageo would just bump up the peat level a tad (to the Benromach level) I would enjoy this far more.
I really like the name and style of this bottle. Love that Diageo is keeping this at 46% . . . but I hate Diageo! I think the age is great and the bottle shape is in my second-tier-style-enjoyment (behind the traditional style bottle shape of Laphroaig and Lagavulin).