Nose: what’s striking at first nosing is the rather perfect combination of straight raw peat with soft and rounded nougatty notes. Highland shortbread and coal smoke, then the expected farmy notes (cow stable, wet dogs, farmyard), notes of apple peeling and fresh walnut, then a little linseed oil and damp earth (and chalk)… Plus just hints of horseradish or mustard. A tad less ‘wild’ than earlier batches in my opinion, but not quite a transition between the 30s and the 25 that was to follow this one. In other words, a true 30.
With water: totally Brora. More farmy notes and this superb kind of camphory/antiseptic notes that only old peated glories can display.
Mouth (neat): hugely huge, extremely powerful, sharp and pretty zesty, much less polished than on the nose when neat. Some lemon, mustard, a lot of raw ginger, green apples, cardamom, liquorice, tar… It’s not exactly brutal but it’s no philosophical malt, if you will. Maybe something of Port Ellen.
With water: lemon cake, sweet mustard, quince jelly, smoked tea, civilised kippers ;-) and marzipan.
Finish: long, with more ‘peated lemon’ and a little mint. Tar. Notes of lemon sprinkled oysters in the aftertaste.
Comments: a Brora that takes water extremely well. In fact, water is de rigueur here or you may miss the best part. I had thought it would be rounder when I nosed it undiluted but no, it’s a genuine, punchy, early-70s style Brora. There. SGP:267 - 93 points.