Thursday 13 October 2022

Tasted #591: 1980 Brora "Prima & Ultima II" 40 Year Old (TimeforWhisky 10 Year Anniversary Dram)

As I wrote last week, this month sees us celebrate 10 years of, and to mark the occasion Hendy and I decided to write our tasting notes for 5 epic drams, in the lead up to the actual anniversary (22nd Oct).

..then we decided, "hold's a tenth anniversary, we should make it ten posts!"

So that's what we're doing. One post a day from today until 22nd October, each suitably epic, each tasted by either Hendy or myself. Without giving too much away, we'll have:
  • Four whiskies in their 50s
  • Two whiskies from the 50s
  • Some crazy Bowmore
  • Whiskies from closed distilleries; and
  • A 30yo Japanese single malt from a distillery which most people don't realised produced a 30yo

It should be acknowledged that these are whiskies we've tasted (and taken notes on) over the past 3-4 years - and just never gotten around to uploading onto the blog. 

It should also be acknowledged that many of these whiskies came from very generous whisky folk who provided them freely - simply to share great whisky with other whisky lovers! 

So without further ado, let's kick things off with a 40 Year Old Brora OB, distilled in 1980 and bottled in 2021 as part of Diageo's "Prima & Ultima II" collection.

It's been a while since we've tried a Brora on this TimeforWhisky. Brora Distillery closed in 1983 (but re-opened in May 2021) and in that time has attained legendary status. This particular release is comes from the last of the 1980s casks (3 refill American Oak hogsheads), bottled 18th Jan 2021, and will be the last OB 1980s release. 

Any Brora is sought-after (and expensive) these days, but a 40yo is a unique thing indeed...

1980 Brora "Prima & Ultima II" 40 Year Old (49.2% ABV, 40yo, 1 of 505 bottles, Highlands, Scotland, $13,400SGD)

Colour: Golden straw.

Nose: Orchard fruits, with subtle wisps of smoke. There's a breadiness, a slight nuttiness, some beeswax, a floral smokiness that lingers through.

Palate: Big and oily, with more orchard fruits, marzipan, peaches and cream - no peach pie, with a freshly baked crust. Slight caramel notes follow, with more of that toasted oak breadiness.

Finish: Very, very long - following the palate with residual fruit, toasted oak and caramel notes.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. Not my favourite Brora to date (it's a high bar, to be fair) but a lovely dram regardless.

A very big thanks to Kam Daswani of Dram Good Stuff for the taste of this Brora.


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