Special Releases 2016, Brora 38yo

door | november 9, 2020

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Working towards the end of this series we had a tough decision to make. Are we saving the 38yo Brora or the 37yo Port Ellen for last? Both should be great, both distlleries are closed and have been for a while so both whisky’s are very rare. We’re doing the Brora first, in alphabetical order.


Brora was a distillery originally named Clynelish. It was built in 1819. After a few mothball periods a new Clynelish distillery was built in 1967 and the old distillery was closed. In 1975 the distillery opened again but now it was named Brora. In a period of 8 years Brora produced whisky in a heavily peated “Islay” style. Brora was closed again in 1983 leaving a stock of casks waiting to be bottled.

The Brora stocks is getting smaller and smaller making the whisky more and more expensive. A bottle of this particular whisky sets you back for about €2000,00. Then again, it’s very rare ánd it’s the oldest Brora ever to bottled in the Special Releases series although it’s the fifteenth release of a Brora.

The whisky was distilled in 1977 and it was matured in refill American hogsheads and refill European oak butts. No artificial coloring or chillfiltering was used before being bottled at cask strength 48,6%.

Notes by Peter

  • Nose: Fresh but smoky. Fruits as well, citrus and apricot. Some honey and wood spices.
  • Taste: An oily mouthfeel. Again smoky with a hint of pepper. Walnuts, apple, tangerines.
  • Finish: Nice long finish with a lot of smoke. A bit meaty. Hints of apple and walnuts .

For me the best sample untill now. Very well balanced!

Notes by Jeroen

  • Nose: This is something special. A hint of smoke, marzipan, oranges and tangerines. After a while I get winegums, the black ones.
  • Taste: More smoke here. A soft and creamy mouthfeel. Sweet fruits, citrus and apple with a bit of nuttyness.
  • Finish: Long, some spices and a hint of smoke. Again nuts and fruits. Apple and tangerine sweetness.

This absolutely is a fantastic whisky. Very special to have taste of this one.

What can I say… Thanks Diageo for this opportunity to have a sip of a whisky like this. We’re looking forward to taste the last sample next week. I wonder if the Port Ellen can beat this Brora.

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