Brora 35 Year (1978)

Scotch Whisky Review #350: Brora 35 Year (1978)

Distillery: Brora.

Region: Highland.

Age: 35 Year. Distilled in 1978. Bottled in 2014.

ABV: 48.6%

Cask Type: Refill American & European Oak.

Cost: $1,300.

Color: 1.1, Burnished.

This is the 15th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the 2020 edition here and 2019 edition here.

Nose: The first notes are sweet and fruity before becoming gradually smokier and the peat showing itself a bit. Very sharp and fresh notes of lemon, pineapple, and yuzu are the fruity elements here. As the smoke filters in, notes of charcoal and well aged peat do as well. Some floral notes make their presence known toward the back end of it all.

Palate: It’s incredibly rich from the get go. A strong honey note comes rushing out of the gates, complete with a mouthfeel to follow along with it, with floral tea chasing right at its heels. Buckets of fruits, orchard fruits and citrus specifically, are next up. Yuzu, poached pears, and green apple are the ones I picked out the most. A hint of grass comes through toward the back. With a little bit of water, a really tasty fruity hard candy note comes through. It almost tastes like what a yuzu and green apple jolly rancher might taste like. The mouthfeel turns from a thick, honey-esque one to one that contains a bit of waxiness.

Finish: It was incredibly long from the first sip but seems like it just got longer with every consequential one. There’s a hit of smoke here, nothing too aggressive. It’s a soft note of smoke and fairly sweet, but enough to make its presence known. Notes of charcoal grilled fruits, particularly pineapple, are also present here.

Conclusion: For my 500th review of whisky, I’ve broken out a bottle I never thought I’d have in the collection. Even tasted alongside two of its peers (a 19 year old and a 37 year old), this Brora stood out. It has just about everything I loved about the first Brora I’d ever had and more. The nose is intoxicating with the fruity notes up front being followed by a lovely sweeter smokiness. The palate starts off rich with tons of fruit notes that just become amplified with some floral and wax notes. The finish brings back some of the smoke and steps it down to combine it deliciously with some grilled fruit. I’m glad past me decided to give me some room at the top of the grading scale, because I definitely needed it for this one. To sum it all up in a single world: stunning. Thank you to everyone who reads these reviews! Your encouragement and feedback is what has gotten me to this milestone and I hope to be able to continue for many, many more!

Final Score: 99.

Scotch Whisky Review #350, Highland Review #70, Whisky Network Review #500

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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