Sunday, 22 June 2014

Tasted #104: Brora 2009 30yo Original Bottling 8th release (#101drams)

As anyone who lives in Australia knows, us Aussies can pay heavily for our whisky. Blame it on the tax man, blame it on the exchange rate, blame it on our distance from anywhere else, blame it on whatever you like (mostly the tax man)...it's true.

That's not to say we don't have the occasional win, mind you (and we generally pay less for our own, local whiskies than the UK), but on the whole...we pay exorbitantly for whisky and high-ABV spirits in this country.

Partly due to this, and partly just to try as many whiskies as possible, a few of us have taken to sharing sample drams, to try weird, wonderful and sometime downright expensive drams, without having to shell out the money for a full bottle.

That's where this little beauty comes in. Brora, mothballed in 1983, and now the stuff of legend. Not quite "Port Ellen level" legend, but not far off. In fact Diageo's most expensive release to date is a Brora (not this one though). After sharing whisky lists a few months ago, Cooper of Australian blog singlema.lt and myself decided to swap a few drams, and I ended up with this 30yo Brora.

Bottled in 2009, this OB release from Diageo still weighs in at 53.2% (cask strength). OB? Yep, so that's one hard to find OB Diageo release ticked off the #101drams list. Now to find the other...

Brora 2009 30yo (Original Bottling, 52.2% ABV / 30yo / Highlands, Scotland / $560AUD when it was available / 2,652 bottles produced)
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Colour: Honey. From a refill cask? Light in colour for a cask strength whisky.
Nose: Subdued smoke, tropic fruits - pineapple, apricot. Some slight musty notes.
Palate: Very subdued smoke, oily. Smooth and somewhat light (would have guessed ~46% ABV). Ash, sweet, vanilla essence.
Finish: Salt, smoke, sweet toffee. All three balanced brilliantly.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 95/100. No two ways about it - a stunning dram.


Thanks again to Cooper from singlema.lt for this stunning dram and fantastic opportunity.

Cheers,
 - Martin.

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