Hi all! This is part 2 of my 5 reviews of the Feather’s Flight, sold at Feather’s pub in Toronto. Part one can be found here. Part 3 can be found here.Part 4 can be found here.Part 5 can be found here.
As I said before, feel free to comment on future reviews of the Flight, however please use Spoilers or an elaborate number system so that the rest stays as a surprise for those people who would like to be surprised.
Before I dive into the next offering, the Brora 18 year Cask Strength Douglas Laing, I’d like to note that the linked image was not taken by me. My wife didn’t want to take her camera, and I (falsely) believed I could find a picture of this rare, rare Scotch online. The image is the October bottling, where as I had the June bottling. I have ensured that I have been whipped for this slight, and only enjoyed it a little bit.
The Brora distillery has been mothballed since 1983, so this was a rare treat. Mix in that it’s a cask strength, and that it’s done by Douglas Laing, so I’m in for a good Scotch.
Full Name: Brora 18 year 1999 June Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Cask Strength
Colour: Bone Yellow, no colour added on this one.
Nose: Purple doughnut filling, blueberries, smoke, pastry, wood varnish, perfume, fresh field in Spring
That filling just surprised the heck out of me. The smoke on this one stays to the back, as you can’t get in the way of Tim Horton’s speciality doughnut flavour, or you’ll… well, you’ll get a stern apology and the ability to unlock your phone, that’s what you’ll get. As it opens up, the nose comes back a little bit with a bakery and then into blueberries and a fresh field after 10 minutes. This is a very fascinating nose. It doesn’t remind me of anything specific, and it’s nice to have a very unique profile.
At this point I feel the need to point something odd out about these older and more complex Single malts. Because they are so complex, they can create these mixes that coalesce into something that you recognize immediately. In this case, it was a speciality doughnut that is usually seen around Halloween.
Taste: Cilantro, bacon, smoked turkey, moss, vermouth, sour melon.
Any fruit flavour in the nose left as soon as I started sipping. It starts out like an Islay almost, though it’s very light. Like when my kitten kicks me. I know I’ve been kicked, but she’s like 6 pounds, so it doesn’t hurt, but I’ve still been kicked. It goes to this wet herbal mix, and the sour melon kinda just sits around, just letting you know it’s there.
Finish: Smoky, earth, malt, coriander, Caramilk Dark
This is another long finish. These are just going to ruin me when I have a regular Scotch again. The flavours mix around, randomly popping up as time goes on. The earth and smoke are at the front, with the Dark caramel and chocolate never separate and stay in the back.
Conclusion: This is one Three-Faced Scotch. One second you have this sweet, unique nose, then you may be drinking this light Islay, then it changes again into a more herbal beast, and then it stays around with a chocolate/caramel/earthy smoke show. Manic is the best way to describe it, which you can take as both a positive and negative. Or like dating your crazy ex. Sure, he/she drove you nuts with his/her separate personalities and mommy/daddy issues, but it was an exciting time and you can laugh at all your insane stories about how you got your scars.
I love each part of this Scotch (unlike some of my exes), however… well, I want something to tie it all together (the Scotch, not my exes). It’s almost like three different drinks in one. I guess the smoke could be the main thing to tie it together, but even that goes from foreground to background too much to be a cohesive point of reference.
End of the day, if you have the chance, try this Scotch, as it’s already 13 years since it was bottled, and we’ll not have chances like this for much longer.
Scotch review #17, Highland review #2, Whisky Network review #24