Review: Brora 35 Year Old 1978 Single Malt Scotch Whisky (2014 Special Release) / by Jason Hambrey

Refill American and European Oak Casks; 35 Years
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Brora (Brora, Scotland)

Yes, here is a legendary Brora - the peated spirit that ran from Clynelish's stills to supply blends until 1983 when the distillery was mothballed. The peated spirit was produced to help with production of blends in light of a drought in Islay which resulted in a shortage of peated whiskies to supply the blenders. It is now one of the most sought after (and expensive) whiskies, and Diageo has tended to release a vatting of Brora as part of their special releases each year.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: 1978

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

The nose is smoky, fruity, and dry, with burning leaves, blueberry, light spice, beeswax, almonds, chickpeas, apple, orange, walnut, blueberry, rubber, with a beautiful marine mineral character as well. The palate is incredibly creamy, with lots of smoke, vanilla, and terrific drying smoke and wax character towards the spicy finish. An incredibly deep finish, full of creamy fruit, smoke, and spice. An unbelievable palate – I could keep going on, but do I need to? Should such a whisky be reviewed, or just marveled at? For this, the latter. First rate, classic, elegant, unbelieveable stuff.

Exceptional (3% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date receive this, my highest recommendation).

Value: Low. You don’t buy this for value…