Google Three Brora from the 1980s

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

September 26, 2017


Three Brora from the 1980s

Not Brora's best years in my book, but you never know. And there's this new Special Release that's just out... But indeed it's a 1982... Let's see...

Brora 1982/2015 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Rare Old, refill sherry puncheon, Lot #RO/15/01)

Brora 1982/2015 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Rare Old, refill sherry puncheon, Lot #RO/15/01) Five starsIndeed, perhaps not Brora’s best vintage, but let’s see what gives… Colour: straw. Nose: it frankly is a Clynelishy Brora. Virtually, this is Clynelish, with this waxy style, the ripe fruits, the faint smokiness, this orange peel, and all the beeswax. And lamp oil, hay, a little clay… All very fine, all quite subtle, and yet rather fat and assertive. Class. Mouth: wonderful. This time, it’s more Brora than Clynelish, with more mineral notes, more chalk, a small mustardy side, more sea elements, and rather more lemons than tangerines. Also green bananas, ripe white currants, and some slightly smoky lemons. Some wulong tea as well, this is very complex. Finish: only medium, but beautifully waxy and citrusy. Totally love the saltier signature. Oysters? Comments: not a peat master, but in a higher league than that of several previous 1982s by G&M (CCs and such). It’s good that they had decided to keep this puncheon until the year 2015. Smart decision! SGP:553 - 92 points.

Brora 23 yo 1980/2003 (49%, Dun Bheagan, hogshead, cask #824, 276 bottles)

Brora 23 yo 1980/2003 (49%, Dun Bheagan, hogshead, cask #824, 276 bottles) Four stars Some were bottled by Ian McLeod under the Chieftain’s (Choice) flag, others under Dun Bheagan. Quality, in my opinion, was similar. Colour: gold. Nose: it is rather wilder, more porridge-y, almost young in fact. Wonderful earthy tones, some sour dough, something metallic (old tin box), notes of roots (manioc?), and rather grass smoke than straight peat. I mean, real grass, in a garden. Oh, and wet dogs (we’ll say it again, we’re sorry, dogs). Mouth: starts vibrant and citrusy, with more smoke than in the 1982, but also a grassy bitterness that’s maybe not totally top-of-range. Leaves, walnut peel, green tea… Perhaps also a touch of soap, almost plastic. Not something we’ve never found in these vintages, mind you, not all Broras were top-class. Finish: rather long but a little bitter and harsh. Sucking a teabag after it’s been used. The oranges in the aftertaste are nicer. Comments: of course it’s good, it’s even very good, but as they say over there in Sutherland, there are better Broras. SGP:463 - 86 points.

Brora 34 yo 1982/2017 (51.9%, OB, Special Release, 3,000 bottles)

Brora 34 yo 1982/2017 (51.9%, OB, Special Release, 3,000 bottles) Four stars and a half Indeed, this is the brand new Special Release from Diageo’s racing team, and it is the second time we’re being proposed a Brora SR from the ‘lighter’ years, so post-1980. There had only been a Brora ‘Rare Malt’ 1982 back in 2003, and a 25 in 2008. Colour: light gold. Nose: indeed, it is a rather light one, with the softest fruits (apples…) and only in the background, touches of lime. Then the expected lightly waxy development, around lemon-scented candle wax and perhaps a pinhead of coal tar. Perhaps an idea of some ripe kiwi? Vase water? To tell you the truth, I’m not sure I’d have said ‘Brora’, had I nosed this baby blind. With water: muddy waters and beach sand, perhaps a wee touch of fresh asparagus. Not a big nose. Mouth (neat): certainly more power, this palate hasn’t got much to do with the very soft and almost innocuous nose. Big lemon with an ashy side, some white pepper, and perhaps even green grapefruits. It’s all nicely focussed on citrus, but there isn’t much smoke, if any. Ideas of clay, sucking a green cigar, beedies… With water: gets a bit too dry for me, rather on green tea and grape-pip oil. Finish: medium, grassy, with artichokes and lemon zests. A tiny-wee saltiness in the aftertaste, and a little paraffin. Comments: a pretty un-Brora Brora, very good of course, but rather without the wideness and the complexity of earlier vintages, including the utterly superb 1977 from last year (WF 95). Please don’t tell everyone, but I think neighbours Clynelish used to be better in the early 1980s. SGP:452 - 88 points.

(Thanks Nicolas, Phil and Tom!)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Brora I've tasted so far






Whiskyfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed