Went to The Feathers Pub for my belated birthday. And aimed to have some high end drams before they all went away and the LCBO hunts down anyone who even grows barley. Because that’s probably their next step.
Until 1967, the Brora distillery was named Clynelish. Then it changed names, and started making heavily peated whisky to fill in issues with Islay not getting their shit together.
Once Islay started “not having production issues” (see: being total wusses) in 1973, Brora started using less and less peat, with the odd heavily peated monster popping up.
Then in the 80s, like most of human decency, a couple human hearts, and basically any respect for the poor, they stopped. This was vastly seen as a bad idea, unless you were rich enough to buy the barrels, new hearts, and not starve.
I’ve had a few Broras since then. Which is nice, because if I had them at the time I would have been a child and grown up all fucked up. This is a birthday dram to add to the others for the year. In that if I owned it it would be a birthday bottle.
That brings us to Brora 1982 Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseur’s Choice. All of the Brora I’ve had have been cask strength. Or close to it (in the Douglas Laing case). I was curious about something lately:
A lot of us are blown away by dead distilleries. Myself included. But maybe it’s because they are released with no chill filtering, at cask strength, were picked meticulously for the best casks, and are old as fuck (technical term).
What would happen if someone broke some of those requirements? That would prove if the dead distillery is the case, or if it’s because they died.
So let’s see, shall we? I’m doing this for you.
And me. Mostly me.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 7.5Y 9/4
Nose: Lime mojito, caramel, wood, turnip, lemongrass, sour cream doughnuts
Lighter nose than others, but not bad. The yeast, doughnut flavour from other Brora is there. Maybe I eat too many doughnuts…
Initially this smells like a mojito. No adds or minus’. Its just a mojito for the first little bit, and that’s quite odd. Takes some time to open up.
Taste: Lemon, basil, caramel, zucchini flowers, banana, felt
Fairly standard malt. If asked to figure this out, I’d fail, because I suck at mystery samples. But I’d also fail because it tastes like a standard lowland. Maybe even a Glenkinchie.
There’s some odd chemical notes. They aren’t bad, and actually add depth as time goes on.
Finish: Oak, floral, sugar, lime, old caramel
Finish isn’t that great. Like a badly made mojito. The caramel is weak and sad. The rest is forgettable.
Conclusion: I have to say: If this is what Brora were normally bringing out when they went out of business in 1983, I see why they died. It’s something like a weak lowland with a nice nose and some unique points.
This is a straight pass. It’s not a bad malt, however given the other Broras out there, you can find better for your money.
Scotch review #555, Highland review #95, Whisky Network review #915