Tasting A Special Release: Brora 30yo from 2010
With the announcement Diageo Special Releases and Serge’s anniversary review of this years Brora, I got in the mood for some Brora myself. Luckily, I still had a lovely sample stashed away somewhere, just waiting for the right moment to be opened.
Brora 30yo (54,3%, OB 9th Release, 2010)
Nose: Immediately a plethora of aromas reveal themselves. Citrus, apples, wax, caramel, honey. Especially the citrus is wonderful. And a very subtle hint of peat is always in the background. Although it mellows out after a while, dissappearing almost completely. Farm notes are also present in the form of dried grass. It also has a nutty and malty quality. Some spices appear: nutmeg and cloves. This is one of the best balanced noses I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling.
Taste: A very salty and coastal start. The palate also has more peat than the nose suggests, but remains very subtle and is not overpowering at all. Minerals. And then the sherry influence surfaces with honeyed rice waffles, grapes and a dry mouthfeel. Next up are pepper, mint, artichoke, white fruit. The oily and waxy quality of this Brora is great.
Finish: Malty, peat, honey. Also ash, tobacco, leather and mint. An endless, medium-dry finish.
There are some wonderful aromas and flavors in this Brora. All very complex and satisfying. But the best thing about it is the unbelievable balance between the sherry and ex-bourbon casks used for this vatting. A great job selecting casks for this beauty.
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.