Thanks to /u/xile_ for sharing a dram of this one.
Hey, look, it’s my birth year.
Last year I decided, through no sense of my own or my finances (especially not my finances) that I’d do some samples of whiskies that were distilled in my birth year. 1982.
I know, you’re thinking: I’ve seen /u/TOModera before, and he looks way older. He’s going bald and grey. I’m surprised he isn’t used by MADD to ensure no one drinks again.
And to that I thank you, some of us got brains over beauty.
Now that I’m done zinging my own strawman (seriously, remember when my writing was good?), what whisky am I drinking this year, and what’s the zany story behind it?
Glad you didn’t ask.
So before I knew /u/xile_, I had decided to bid on Brora 20 1982 Rare Malt. So I did. In an auction. And some guy outbid me and won it.
That guy? Totally Albert Einstein. But then /u/xile_ totally bought it from him, and we joked about it. He felt bad for outbidding me, and I laughed it off, because I’m the bigger man. Not in a size way or even a maturity way, I’m fat too. And he’s a Highlander from Nigeria.
None the less, he was nice enough to open it up this year around my birthday. And rather than just drinking it in front of me, he even shared a dram.
Brora is a funny creature. There was a shortage of peated whisky, due to a drought on Islay, so it was made to fill that void. For Blends. That’s all. Eventually there was peated whisky again, so they stopped making it peated in 1973, making it lighter and lighter in peat until it eventually closed up shop in the 80s.
So what do we have: Well we have a bunch of whisky that was made, in bulk, for blends. It was shut down and the barrels left to sit for a long ass time (technical term). It’s also heavily peated, which whisky nerds love. Or lightly peated. Which given the love of GlenDronach, we also love.
Thus we run into a fun case: Left to it’s own time, Brora has gone from a “meh” whisky to a highly sought one that otherwise would be blend fodder. Other whiskies have attempted this, however haven’t. It’s lightning in a bottle.
But that’s just the hype. Some Brora don’t have the makings of good whisky. Some distilleries have duds, or some good offerings and some bad ones.
So let’s see how this official bottling stacks up, shall we?
Bottle No.: 2669
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Caramel, mango pie, evergreen, lemon coconut pudding, fresh vanilla donuts
This is mental. Extremely hard to describe. Most of us are speaking in emojis. Some of us in pantomime. There may be bad art that pops up because of this dram. Move over absinthe, the artists have something new.
Granted those poor sour souls can’t afford it, so screw them. And I’m not letting a whisky get the best of me. No more arts for me! I’m fucking doing this! Begin brain melting!
This smells like an outdoor bakery that specifically is run by someone of Nordic decent who likes to mix sweet and herbal. On a sunny day.
There’s your bullshit blurb. Better than most were able to.
Taste: Beef burnt ends, bacon, buttered peaches, peat moss, walnut, cranberry festival in Autumn
Okay, getting a little more insane.
Imagine the wife of the outdoor baker above is really into farming in swamps, but only fruit. She also has to keep… let’s say boars… yes, boars… She has to keep moose away, and thus has to burn things to do so.
There may be boar bacon leftovers. It’s hard to describe the different parts. Most of my fellow drinkers are speaking in tongues now.
Finish: Smoked croissant, juniper moose, rum sauce, strawberry-rhubarb, raspberry Italian soda
And by juniper moose, I mean the meat of a moose cooked with juniper berries.
Now when the Nordic man and the swamp farming lady come home, they eat and drink like we’ve never thought possible. The sickly sweet dripping sauces of their love are everywhere, and in the end, we’re left tasting it, like a musty room that once held a Roman Orgy.
Conclusion: This things mental. Very mental. More mental than other Brora I’ve had. So mental it’s hard to describe. I went in thinking it’d be a let down, and happy that I hadn’t bought it, and now I’m sitting around a bunch of people who are used to reviewing whisky, and none of us can convey thoughts properly. At all.
It’s complex. There’s no one flavour that sticks around too long. Nothing simple, or if it is simple, it’s the simple flavour that you wanted at that moment. The finish is really sweet, the taste is meaty/herbal/peat/fruit/what? and the nose is sunshine.
I’m pretty sure one of us is now in a coma and the others have to change their pants. Whisky of the year, this one.
Scotch review #524, Highland review #90, Whisky Network review #876