Nose: First questions tackled first, no it’s not too woody. In fact, it’s not woody at all at this point. Second, yes it’s rather an ‘early’ Brora and in truth, it sits right between the 1975 and the 1972 as far as profiles are concerned. That means that it’s pretty smokier than last year’s 32yo (which was quite smoky already) and very phenolic, although it’s obviously lighter and kind of ‘easier’ than the various 1972s Rare Malts. Are you following me? What Else? Notes of vin jaune again, soot, petrol, flints, then whiffs of fish (think tinned sardines), putty, plasticine, maybe a little fresh butter, wax… Tends to sauvignonise (hey?) a bit after a few minutes, which can’t be bad news as far as its zestiness and liveliness are concerned. Also a little herbs (fresh coriander, eucalyptus, mint) and wee notes of vegetables (turnips? Parsnips? Celeriac?) I could go on and on, better stop now. Drop water.
Mouth: Well, the oak’s a little more obvious now, especially after the superlative 1972, and the smoke’s also lighter while there are rather more crystallised fruits and other rounder notes, the whole being rather more 1975+ than ‘1972’. Well, that was true for a good 30 seconds but the Broraness never stops growing after that, the whole becoming more and more complex. I get bitter oranges, touches of aniseed, camphor, ashes, hints of tropical fruits (mainly passion fruits and mangos, also lemon), kippers… all that on a thick layer of ashes and tars that make it so, well, Brora. What’s sure is that it’s not tired at all despite the 35 years and the –relatively – lower strength. In my experience, that wouldn’t happen at all the other peaters’.
Finish: Long, sappy, smoky, drier now. Tannic touches.
Comments: Brilliant again, although it may not totally reach the astounding level of the best ‘pure’ 1972s. But more about the 1972s in the coming months… (shhh!)
Nose: Bandages and tweed, mixed peel, hay, waxed grapefruit skin. A little musty after time in the glass. Not much in the way of smoke, this is definitely more Clynelish than Brora.
Palate: Rich and intense, waxy and sweet. Densely textured. Orangey liqueur notes and the hay from the nose. The tweedy oak gets a little loud from mid-palate.
Finish: Not especially long but pleasant, although again the oak is a little too dominant for me.
Comment: A very drinkable dram, and Clynelish-lovers will be happy, but of course at 35 years of age it’s starting to creak a bit. Very oaky style, yet still a lot to admire here, with lovely sweet citrus and a luxurious mouthfeel.
Nose: Rather Clynelish-like to start (which is no bad thing in my book), with lots of wax and pineapple, as well as stacked straw, a touch of the farmyard, honeysuckle, a hint of parma violets and an almost baked bean richness behind everything.
Palate: Quite different to the nose, with sweet liquorice, fennel fronds, perfumed wood, sherbet, orange boiled sweets, mint and a touch of lemon Locket.
Finish: More liquorice, chalky Refreshers, spicy wood, damp logs and a touch of menthol.
Comment: Definitely up my street when it comes to Broras, with a sweeter rather than a smokier edge. I’ve also discovered that I really like liquorice notes in spirits…