This is (as expected) another fantastic Brora from the best times of this distillery. Aged 30-years and bottled in 2003 it looks as if this is a 1973 vintage but I doubt: In the early seventies the Brora distillery was simply named Clynelish too (internally) and the casks were stamped either Clynelish-A (for the modern Clynelish distillery) or Clynelish-B (for the old Brora distillery). But in 1973 the processes did not work and either they just stamped all casks Clynelish only or they mingled the naming altogether - that is why Diageo decided to market all Clynelish/Brora casks from 1973 as Clynelish only (or have you ever come across a 1973 Brora?). So I guess this bottling contains casks from 1972 (or earlier) because the Diageo managers are risk-avers in such matters, usually. But I could not care less if the result is that excellent (and the 1972 vintage is believed to be the best of Brora, in general).
PS: Today I find the price I paid in 2005 very appropriate for a dram of this quality.
The colour is amber and the texture shows small sticky tears that consolidate to a fat sticky ring that moves downward simply as a ring (what a great oiliness). The nose offers an adorable peaty-fruity-honeyed Brora profile at its best, absolutely clean, complex and balanced.
The taste is bold and unbelievable complex with all the flavours you wish to find in an old Brora. And it shows grace and dignity (if a taste can be that way). Many, many layers in there that just wait to be detected and enjoyed. Some water unlocks more aromas in the nose and flavours on the palate while keeping this amazing balance and elegance of the profile. I like it best when reduced to about 48% abv.
The mouthfeel is just like the texture promised: great with an instantly warming coating of all parts of the mouth and no distracting moment whatsoever. This is excellent stuff, indeed! The finish is very long and even sweeter than the taste with nice nectar and spicy wooden notes (in addition to all what was in the taste already).