The Bottlers Brora 19 Year Sherry Cask (1981)

Scotch Whisky Review #348: The Bottlers Brora 19 Year Sherry Cask (1981)

Distillery: Brora.

Bottler: The Bottlers.

Region: Highland.

Age: 19 Year. Distilled in June of 1981. Bottled in July of 2000.

ABV: 61.0%. Probably Cask Strength?

Cask Type: Refill Sherry

Cask Number: 1076

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

This is the 13th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the 2020 edition here and 2019 edition here.

Nose: You can tell this is high in alcohol content, it clears your sinuses out really nicely. There is a light bit of smoke that wafts through followed closely by notes of sherry and wax candles. Grilled lemon, molasses, and a bit of something that smells a lot like gingerbread are also present.

Palate: Much like the nose, the high ABV makes its presence well known here and is screaming for some water. Thankfully, it only takes a couple of drops to calm it down. It starts a lot like the nose does with a light bit of smoke wafting around. Some light notes of charcoal come along with the smoke. All of that is followed by a nice amount of sherry and citrus notes. Grilled lemon and yuzu are the main players in a delicious combination of a bit of sweetness, a bit of sourness, a touch of bitterness, and a bit of smoke. The mouthfeel is quite waxy as well, which just gives this another element to play off of.

Finish: Medium in length. The charcoal grilled lemon note continues on strongly. It’s joined by a bit of grilled pineapple as well.

Conclusion: Going into this dram, I was a touch worried. Brora’s sister distillery, Clynelish, doesn’t seem to like sherry casks very often and I had no clue how this might be. My fears, appeared to be quite unfounded at least in this case. The sherry adds a lovely sweeter element to the lightly smoked and grilled notes going on throughout. The citrus notes are right up my alley and the combination of different flavors there is absolutely delightful. The waxiness that appears throughout really helps add another element to this dram, particularly given how fun the mouthfeel becomes. Absolutely fantastic and I’m left hoping and praying that revitalized Brora will be able to put out something even remotely close to this.

Final Score: 92.

Scotch Whisky Review #348, Highland Review #68, Whisky Network Review #498

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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