Brora 1981 24 Years Old (Signatory Vintage)
We’ve entered the last week of January, meaning this is also the last week in which I review only rare and exclusive whiskies. It has been a blast so far, with my Top 10 undergoing many changes in the process. Next up is a Brora 1981 24 Years Old from Signatory Vintage.
Brora is one of the most well-known closed distilleries of Scotland, only surpassed by Port Ellen. It became famous because of its Rare Malts expressions, and never left the public eye because of its inclusion in the annual Special Releases from Diageo.
I’ve only tasted barely half a dozen Brora-expressions myself, reviewing just one for this blog. Today’s Brora is a single cask from a (probably refill) sherry butt. Thanks for sharing, Dirk!
Brora 1981 24 Years Old (59,3%, Signatory Vintage, C#1517)
Nose: Gentle aromas of stewed apple, some burlap and a fair bit of beeswax. Plenty of oranges, as well as strawberries and a whiff of salted caramel. Straw too. The tiniest bit of peat in the background.
Taste: Oily and waxy, I like it! A very sweet first impression. Sweet barley, brown sugar. But that quickly makes way for an austere, peppery arrival, somewhat peaty. Menthol too. This might benefit from some water, so let’s try. It brings out leather, licorice and minerals.
Finish: Subtle peat, white pepper and minerals.
Always a treat to taste Brora. Had it been a bit more well-integrated, then it would’ve reached the nineties. Now it falls just short.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.