Brora 32 yo (54,7%, OB, Special Release, 1500 bottles, 2011) Five stars
From refill both American and European oak casks. I’m trying this new baby with last year’s 30yo on the side (WF 91). Colour: gold. Nose: starts a bit like the TWE, sooty and ashy, but develops into another direction, with much less fruits and much more smoke, coal, bonfire and more mineral ‘things’. It’s more austere, in fact, without being very, very big either. It’s also a tad more medicinal (camphor, antiseptic). After a few minutes: some white fruits, peaches… Then eucalyptus… And wait, there, some menthol… And there, a little game, and a little petrol, flints… Truly a movie-malt (as opposed to picture-malts, I’m sure you get my drift). What’s sure is that it’s more complex than last year’s 30. With water: fab development, very complex, long, on all kinds of herbs, minerals and oils. Plasticine. Now it’s all rather subtle (the TWE was a tad more talkative at this point).
Mouth (neat): bang bang. Strong, peaty, farmy, wonderfully pungent and acrid, with a 1972-ness in the background. Pine sap, ashes, tar, liquorice… Then the kind of citrus fruits that one can only find in old peat monsters, rather between lemon and passion fruits (without being any of those), with a global profile that really starts to resemble last year’s 30 now, but with some extra-depth. With water: magnificently austere and sharp, extraordinarily compact, the best use of water. Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade. Finish: long, dry, peaty and a little peppery ala Talisker. Comments: rather more oomph than in the already wonderful TWE, more towards 1972. Brora lovers will understand. But warning, this baby mustn’t be rushed, because it takes its time to unfold. And it’s definitely more complex than last year’s 30 – while it’s got something of the 22yo-1972s Rare Malts. Yes I just checked. Ahem, to think that I had wanted to write a short note for this one. SGP:467 -