My birthdays have become something of a fun legend. And by fun legend, I more so mean everyone coming downtown, all the way, just to watch me do whisky reviews.
It’s a tad narcissistic, to say the least. It’s at The Feather’s Pub , so that helps. The foods good. Have the Welsh Rarebit. Maybe just not with whisky. But that’s a later story.
Before said food, I ordered a second dram, one that gets a lot of talk, because the distillery is dead. Brora 20 1975 Rare Malts was released back in 1995… I think. I can’t really tell. It’s quite expensive. It was bottled then, at least. Maybe they kept it in the bottle awhile until the Scotch boom took off.
Should have waited for now: It’s £1,000 a bottle, so I’m lucky to even have it without cleaning out my wife’s bank account.
The reason I may not know much about Brora is because it closed down in 1983, when I was 1. So I don’t remember too much about it. Which is too bad.
Originally called “Clynelish” until the place next door called themselves that, Brora filled the gap of peated whisky when Islay was running low on it.
So, it’s peated, though lightly. That alone gets my attention. Can’t believe I missed it when I was young.
Let’s see how it tastes then, shall we?
Price: More than I make… and not at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 8/6
Nose: Pineapple donut, red wine, pepper, floral, cereal, mint, lemon
Somehow Brora always tastes like donuts to me so far. I’m assuming it’s the ex-bourbon cask. And growing up in Canada and being a fat kid.
This one also has a lot of pepper and floral notes. Quite tasty. Like some hybrid Highland/Lowland thing almost.
Taste: Pine, caramel, mint, cereal, soy sauce, peach, ginger
The soy sauce is surprising. Think I would have liked that when I was 1. Had an insane palette at that age.
You’d think it would throw off my tastebuds with an all of a sudden umami salt bomb, yet somehow it works. Nothing here other than the soy sauce is out of the ordinary though, so maybe it’s lost.
Finish: Caramel, cashew, smoke, butter, passionfruit, molasses
And there’s that smoke that I was told about. After the fact. When I read about it while writing it.
Anyway, I like the finish. Again, very hybrid tasting. It’s rum like while still being lightly peated. Very tasty.
Conclusion: So this is wacky, though not as wacky as the last Brora I had. You know, maybe I should have had it as a young child before I was a bourgeoisie sack of crap who can complain about trying a rare as dram.
Okay. That aside. It’s an interesting, unique nose, an okay one note taste, and then a nice finish. Is it super crazy? Not to me. It’s still tasty, yet not as amazing as one would hope given the pomp, circumstance, and yes, even the price.
No price doesn’t affect my scores: I’m just saying I wouldn’t pay an arm and a leg for this one unless it was much, much better.
Scotch review #391, Highland review #75, Whisky Network review #599