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So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Brora 21 yo 1981/2003 Signatory #1422 vs Brora 24 yo 1972 Connoisseurs Choice 40%

Boxing Day Brora?

Brora 21 yo 1981/2003 Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection #1422 46%

 Nose: Note this is a completely different style from early 70s Brora, this one is unpeated and much cleaner and lighter with elements reminiscent of Clynelish of the same period – dried beeswax, drizzle of honey, lots of cutting minerals and grapefruit zest, but also a good amount of more phenolic notes like clean black earth, dried bark shavings and dried grass piles, cold sea air blown in from a distance. But overall it’s still rather more a buttery lighter sort of Brora than phenolic of course, though still excellent whisky.

 Palate: All comes quickly: Grapefruit zest, white pepper, much wax and honey. Now sap from broken branches and many light oils and greases of the more phenolic sort. The phenolic side is represented by old tools, old gunky grease, cold sooty lamps, and dried uncleaned spades. Also a tad salty and smoky. Petrichor and soaked wood. Excellent drinking Brora.

 Finish: Fairly long, wax, salt, wispy smoke, petrichor, soot.

 

Brora 24 yo 1972 Connoisseurs Choice 40% bottled in 1996

This will be a completely different style as we know that Brora was revived in the early 70s to produce a heavily peated whisky to cover shortfalls in production on Islay, or at least that seems to be the accepted consensus, I’ve heard other arguments but none as convincing as this.

 Nose: Nevermind the 40%, this one is very outspoken. A briny, crushed seashells sort of peat, with more than a hint of the coast even though we are on the other side of Scotland from Islay. Scents like fresh ash, black coal and soot, miles of carbon paper and muddy churned up earth make this an amazing old peated nose, but now the middle is dominated by a thick (but somewhat clean) farm-iness that seems to be regarded as a marker for early 70s Brora, throw in a rusty tractor belching black smoke as well. There is a big damp-ness about it as well, I might say ‘boggy’?

 Palate: A deeply earthy and thickly oily peat, with more than a suggestion of the coast about it again. Now it gets salty too. Muddy earthy, but run through with mineral streaks, and yes this big farm-iness that’s not dirty or ‘musky’ but not exactly clean either. Old engine oils, petrol cans, mouldering firewood. Blackened barns lit by a very poorly burning oil lamp.

 Finish: Arrives rather soon unfortunately, but it’s all the above, and it insists on staying. No complaints. Can a revived Brora be as good again? Beautiful even when reduced to minimum.

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This entry was posted on December 26, 2017 by in Brora, Clynelish and tagged , .
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