70cl / 51.9%
34 Year Old Special Releases 2017
- Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Distillery Bottling
The 16th edition of irreplaceable whiskies from closed distillery Brora, always a highlight of Diageo’s Special Releases. This 34-year-old Highland single malt, distilled in 1982, is an elegant and restrained take on Brora’s characteristic waxy and smoky notes. Expect waxed apples, damp straw and fruity dark chocolate, accompanied by unusual notes of Szechuan pepper, all wreathed in gentle smokiness. This whisky was distilled a year before the distillery closed in 1983.
Brora 1982 Reviews
Tasting notes by Billy Abbott (The Whisky Exchange)
Nose: Damp hay, earthy notes and farmyard hints lead to gentle smoke and waxy apples. Cooked apples mix with stewed lemons and then overripen, sitting on the edge of mulchiness. The earthy notes reappear along with chocolate and hints of menthol.
Palate: Perfumed apple blossom explodes across the palate only to be rolled over by apples, chocolate and a touch of chilli spice. Damp forest rancio builds with sweet nuts, gentle smoke and Dutch liquorice.
Finish: Sweet liquorice and cocoa fade to orange and lemon, and then fragrant earth. Very long.
Comment: I'm a sucker for Brora and this didn't disappoint. It balances waxiness and farmyards, with the smoke sitting further back than in some years.
Tasting notes from the producerAppearance: Deep gold.
Nose: At first maritime and mineral, with dried seaweed. Then waxed apples, damp straw, hints of honeysuckle and underlying touches of oily rags suggest a cider farm’s workshop in springtime. Spicier and slightly dusty tones of earth and browning leaves develop in the weightier, savoury centre, which shows fresh-peeled bark, turmeric and mace. There’s barley sugar and a hint of orange juice or tinned pineapple too, with travel sweets and green leaves, all on a faintly waxy base. The latter emerges more with water, as does the floral, herbal fragrance.
Palate: Starts sweet, with only a little of the waxy texture for which Brora is renowned, so at first it’s sharper than you expect, with fruit, chili and fresh-ground black pepper. As the heat subsides, fruity dark chocolate and soft barrel-char smoke appear, with damp oak, apples and aniseed. The heat slowly builds, as does the fruit. Water brings up the waxy texture, with spicy and mouth-cooling Szechuan pepper masked by chocolate, sweet grass and fruit sweets.
Finish: Some spice in the finish, as earthy chocolate, barley sugar and aniseed slowly fade to leave sweet-spicy oak, tart apple and chocolate-covered delight, with a final quick burst of black pepper and sweet fruit.