Highlands Region – 54.6%ABV – Sherry Butt # 1523 – 469 bottles – 1981/2011 – 30yo – was $249 at K&L Wines but is sadly all sold out (in a pre-release sale nonetheless!)
…how about you Fauna? You wanna?
A gold star to the first person that gets the references in this post’s title and in the first sentence.
It’s not often you get a chance to have Brora in your glass and when you do you need to give thanks to G-d, Adonai, the Whisky Fairy, El, Elvis… what ever you call your higher power. Brora whiskies are like hens teeth. Very expensive hens teeth (though comparatively speaking, at $249, this 30 Brora is cheap. The last 30yo Brora I reviewed was from a $400 bottle!)
The Brora distillery, or “old Clynelish” as it’s sometimes referred to, closed in 1983 (along with many other distilleries). It’s stills are no longer operational. We’ll never see this lost distillery opened again which is quite sad as they produced stellar spirit!
On to the whisky at hand.
Let’s give this whisky a little time with some air. (Ten minutes go by.)
It’s amazing how I am rewarded just by simply displaying a touch of patience. The sherried notes are there, yes, as is the oak/age. However, wonderful hints of mint and fennel followed by smoked caramels (salted) say hello to my nose. Hi.
Increasingly peppery with traces of dried fruits and tanning oil.
On the mouth — Wow. Wow-wow. Deliciously oily and slightly waxy.
Baked apples with a ton of brown spices and sugar.
Hints of smoke here and there. Everytime you think you found the smoke, it hides away.
Not a touch of sulfur or a bit of that over-oaked “quality” you’d be concerned with in an older whisky such as this.
Finish — Incredibly lengthy with an Oolong, floral sweetness at the way back of the tongue.
In sum — A absolute stunning single cask of whisky. One of the best I’ve had this year. Easily. Balanced, luxurious, indulgent and warming.
Kudos to Chieftain’s for choosing this cask of Brora (great choice!) and adding it to their range.