I’ve stated quite often that one of my absolute favourite whiskies, for many many years now, is Clynelish. The malt now produced at Clynelish is made at a distillery built in 1968. Before then it was made at an older facility across the road, which was then renamed “Brora” and produced a slightly peated malt. The Brora distillery was then mothballed in 1983. Diageo, the company who now own the stocks and the brand, as well as Clynelish, still have some casks and release an annual batch. These releases have become some of the most sought after and expensive single malts in the world.
So obviously when I began to get more into whisky, Brora was quickly added to my bucket list. It became very much a unicorn malt for me, something that would probably always elude me. Luckily around last year I found a sample up for sale and got it, accepting that I’ll probably never be willing to spend the neccessary amount to purchase and entire bottle.
Aged 30 years. 54.3% ABV. Matured in bourbon and sherry casks. Non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.
Nose: Candied pineapple. Beeswax. Wild flowers. Dark chocolate. Olive oil. Brine. Toasted wood. Light smoke. Vanilla ice cream. Roasted nuts. Fudge (British not American). Cloves. Fresh. Ginger. Bit of lemon zest. Polished wood. Old leather. Treated thatch. Rich buttery note with water, the nutty notes also become more prominent.
Palate: Leather furniture. Waxed brown paper. Rich wood. Brown sugar. Butterscotch. Toasted hazelnuts. Light rich peat note present in the background, becomes more prominent with water.
Finish: Long. Dark woody notes. Roasted nuts. Good leather. Cigar smoke. Floral notes in the background.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This is to this day one of the best whiskies I’ve ever tried. It’s amazingly complex, really required time to dissect all the aromas and tastes. It’s beautifully balanced as well, with all the notes melding together to a wonderful symphony of good aged whisky. I was so happy that this lived up to my expectations.