Archive for the ‘Brora’ Category

Signatory Cask Strength Collection Brora 1981 (23 year old) 53.7%

Sherry Butt 1559/Dist: Dec 1981 Btl: Mar 2005/ Tasted: Oct 2006

Rich and sheried aromas of earthy-peat, liquid orange fruit, coffee and smoke. Very complex, balanced and evolving. On the palate it is rich and fruity with coffee, tangerine, a touch of peat and a late burst of cherry and cranberry fruit. A lovely vein of gentle peat runs through it until the end. Absolutely stunning!


Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Brora 1981 (26 year old) 54.5%

Cask 1424/Dist: Nov 1981 Btl: Nov 2007/ Tasted: Jan 2008

Brora was closed for good in May 1983, so there can’t be that much of it still left around, so one always jumps at the chance to taste one! The nose is very intense, crisp and clean with a delicate peaty aroma along with manure, a slight iodine, tar and rubber nuance. However there is the Clynelish character of rich fruit lurking somewhere in the background. It kind of reminds me of old bourbon casked Lagavulin.

The palate is very obviously mature, light and delicate, with quiet a lot of wood tannins to begin with. Then in drifts the soot, coal dust and peat. The alcohol sort of masks the mid palate a bit, yet it is quiet fruity.  It’s also very oily, and it definitely leaves a coating. It sort of hangs around rather than finishes – No it lurks! If it had gone to uni it would have got a first class degree in lurking!

A drop of water brings out a lovely liquid orange note on the nose, subdues the peat to an almost imperceptible level and emphasises the vanilla oak. On the palate it becomes a veritable sooty mouthful, leaving a smoky/ oily/ mature residue. Ok, so it’s not the most amazing bottling of Brora I’ve ever tasted, but like the Mosstowie it is a lovely mature dram and you are experiencing liquid history, never to be repeated again. So if I was going to be picky I would have like to have seen this bottles around 6 years earlier.

Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Brora 1981 (27 year old) 53.8%

Cask 1427/ Dist: Nov 1981 Btl: Nov 2008/ Tasted: Nov 2008

Rich and fruity aromas intermingled with a greater degree of peat than their previous bottling (cask 1424). Intense and juicy with oodles of medicinal peat. Sort of Laphroaig-esque, in one of its mellower, introverted moments. It has an excellent clarity with hints of barley and rubber. This is a stunning nose, enhanced with a touch of perfumed white fruits.

The palate is quiet dry, a touch tannic to begin with. Ok so it’s like sucking on wood, but the wonderfully pure peat, coal dust and rubber flavours just about balance it up. It’s a touch spirity on the middle, but once past that it’s phenols a go-go! It’s a bit of a brutal Brora. Hammering the tastebuds with wave after wave of bog myrtle and rubbery fruit – Just how a Brora should be in my opinion!

A drop of water really ramps up the rubbery peat and brings out a violet and iodine note. In fact it could almost be a salt-freeIslay! On the palate it releases it’s nature oils and allows the rich, earthy fruit to ride those oils! It’s incredibly oily, it coats the tongue in a perfusion of rubbery oils. The peat is definitely less brutal now, it displays a lovely crumbly, sweet edge and the violet notes become apparent. If only Clynelish could be this interesting.

Douglas Laing Advance Sample Brora 1982 (21 year old) 50%

Sherry cask 1186/ Dist: 1982 Btl: 2003/ Tasted Mar 2004

A big, slightly vegetal sherry nose. Dried fruit, earth and no shortage of wood spice. Smooth on the palate and like the nose dominated by the slightly vegetal cask. Intense middle with hints of smoke, peat, and a touch of Turkish delight and salt before the oak returnson the finish.

Douglas Laing Old & Rare Platinum Brora 1981 (28 year old) 57.4%

Single sherry cask No93 – 93 bottles/ Dist: 1981 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Nov 2010

Sulphured to hell and back!!!!!!! Peering or sniffing through the fog there is maybe some chocolate orange and peat, but the sulphur is making my eyes water!

Dry, alcoholic and sulphured! There is so much alcohol and baby sick notes it is giving me heartburn! This is a really unpleasant experience and for a full bottle they want £360 for it!!! Somebody needs to be strung up by their nads I think!

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Brora 1976 (25 year old) 43%

Dist: Autumn 1976 Btl: Winter 2001/ Tasted: Aug 2002

A fruity, viscous, slightly smoky nose with hints of peat, toffee, sherry and a malty sweetness. The palate is smooth, beginning with malty sweet sherry followed by waves of peaty fruit with distinct apricot and orange notes. Very long with a salty finish.

Brora 1975 (30 year old) ‘4th release’ 56.3%

Dist: 1975 Btl: 2005/ Tasted: Nov 2010

A distinctly butyric nose. When the sickness has passed it shows a mature spirit with a deft honeyed maltiness. Plenty of manure-peat, coffee, tar and an astringent edge provided by the alcohol.

A touch cardboardy to begin with, yet a bucketful of medicinal peat sort of compensates. It’s sadly a bit one-dimensional, just peat and wood with a spicy, almost violety finish. I was expecting so much more!

Maybe some water will do the trick? Well……… it’s less sickly now but still quite astringent and although the alcohol has been tamed it just leaves wood tannins on the palate. Almost £450 for this, you must be having a laugh!

Brora 1978 (38 year old) ‘12th release’ 48.6%

First Fill American and European oak/ Dist: 1978 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Dusty aromas of perfumed violets along with hints of malt, waxy apricot, roasted meat and mature, sawdusty American oak. Stunningly deep and mature with just an echo of dry peat. It definitely has an old Bowmore-like feel to the aromas.

The palate is mature and opens with a lovely combination of sawdusty oak and creamy oak. Hints of baked fruit, violets and dry peat follow. Again Bowmore-esque with hints of coffee and spicy. Long and oaky with a touch of tight, spicy oak tannins and lingering, oxidised fruit, wood smoke, tar, dark chocolate and more wood spice. Now that’s rather pleasant!