CATEGORY: Single Malt.
BOTTLER: Distillery Bottling.
BOTTLING SERIE: Diageo Special Releases 2017.
STATED AGE: 34 years old.
CASK TYPE: Refill American Oak Hogsheads.
NUMBER OF BOTTLES: 3000
STRENGTH: 51.9 % Vol.
SIZE: 700 ml.
A natural cask strength single malt from a closed distillery at Brora on the Sutherland coast. Sixteenth of a limited series of annual releases. This irreplaceable malt is from American Oak hogshead filled in 1982. It's everything you’d want and hope to find in this legendary malt, finely integrated and smoothed out.
APPEARANCE: Deep gold, with good beading and slow legs.
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: The taste 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.