Brora 15th Release

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2016
Stated Age
38 years old
Refill American and European Oak Casks
Number of bottles
48.6 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Limited Edition
Bottle code
Added on
06 jun 2016 5:14 pm by mds51
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 5657.11

109 × in wishlist

238 × member ratings

288 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Brora 15th Release

36 users have left 37 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 92.49 points.

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [April, 2017]  I bought a small sample at Limburg whisky fair and Diageo sold it without any premium (compared to the price of the full bottle) which is very fair.  If the final bottle price of about 1750 Euros is fair as well I will see in a few minutes...

    Yes it is a great malt and compared to other recent highly priced releases this justifies more of its price than all the others.  If you can afford this price tag go for it - all others should go for a small sample like I did...
    • Nose
      97 97
      The colour is old gold and the texture about a few thick legs and very few late tears. And ...WOW... what a nose! This is complexity and harmony at its best, simply grab an aromas wheel and check all the pleasant boxes - peaty, earthy, floral, fruity and sweet aromas in a subtle (not very expressive) and elegant mix. I could sniff this for hours... and I have to push myself to proceed to the taste.
    • Taste
      95 95
      The taste is rich and very complex too. It is remarkably dry (warm ashes) but of a really enjoyable dryness (never thought I would ever state such a thing). And it is layered - so you have the chance to identify the flavours and aromas one after the other. With water it offers even more aromas both in the nose and on the palate but it looses some power, of course. Nevertheless I like it with some drops of water better than neat.
    • Finish
      94 94
      The arrival on the palate is creamy and instantly mouth-coating. Close to perfection, nothing to complain about (except it could be a little bolder). The finish is long and keeps this interesting dryness. And it stays sublime and complex. But the best is really the nose...

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  3. WiltChamberlain scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      93 93

  4. CherryHeart scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    deluxe version of longrow peated

  5. Tomek_whisky scored this whisky 91 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      90 90

  6. ConvalRen scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      91 91

  7. Nazin scored this whisky 96 points Expert Senior

    That's good stuff, complex and and very pleasant.

  8. P.A.O.K.you_are scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      91 91

  9. GIORGOS scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      92 92

  10. Sendilkelm scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Very good whisky, similar in quality to the 14th Release.

  11. Seanzhang scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      92 92

  12. The_Osprey scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Brora 38 year old, bottle 162, bottled 2016 at 48.6%.

    Aroma is oaky, pineapple, apricot, faint permanent marker, subtle oak notes. Gets more and more tropical over time. Chewits sweets. Some blackcurrant comes out over time. Jammy fruits and slight chocolate. No smoke until quite late on. It needs a lot of time in the glass but it's nice.

    Taste is soft and subtle, multifaceted, floral notes layer over oaky soft fruit, carpet, light chocolate topping on a fruit dessert, lingering oak and soft peat. More smoke comes over on the nose after a sip. Then the taste suggests goat cheese and salt.

    Good density yet amazing complexity, and retains subtle flavours despite its weight. Develops some oaky astringency over time.

    Well, this experience was not disappointing. Woo yeah not bad. Burnt pineapple and peach, salt, breathy smoke come out. I mean it's great. (3.9/93)

  13. Vmarcinv scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

    Nose - ripe fruit, apricots, pears, wax and grassy combined with a subtle smoke, a bit of tobacco and old leather. Taste- Complex, wax, cellar hay, ripe fruit, dryness, minerality and some orange jam served by the fire.
    Long finish, orange jam, some figs, a bit of warm smoke from the fire and skin pulled from the cellar.
    Clearly different from 34 and 37 yo.

  14. whiskydramo scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
      Mandarin orange peel, hay, yellow pear, peach. Fruit leaves, followed by crispy green grapes, ginger, liquorice. Earth from a vegetable garden. Floral and grassy if you let it oxidate for 10min. Pepper and malt from emptied glass
    • Taste
      88 88
      honey, apricot, light mango, so orange sourness with zest. Pepper. Some green tea comes up after 15s
    • Finish
      87 87
      Slightly earthy, vanilla, mild pepper, hay, a bit dry

  15. MichaelMoney scored this whisky 94 points Member Junior

    Diageo’s classic production, the Blanca in the 70s, is not as good as 1972, but it is also one of the highest standards of the winery. 38 years of wine ???? around 2500£, some are both delicious and come from more than 30 years of wine in the 70s. It may be 2-3 times the price of him, but the wine is not as good as him. Why should I not buy it? Value

  16. mr_bovien scored this whisky 96 points Member Junior

    So amazing stuff, palate is complex and fruity
    Nose impresses with a punch of fresh fruit and the taste is so impressive

  17. Jackson05 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    Part of an ancient malts tasting and the winner by a mile.

    What an absolute stunner of a malt. I didn’t take many notes, since I was appreciating the moment, but many others do a great job of that.

    Monster flavours and aromas on another level compared to the other malts, which included the 34 year official Brora. Glorious lemon, honey, all sorts of the best waxes, a really beautiful muddy quality - not farmy or anything, but the best clay/mud depth and just so incredible fat, oily, rich and deep. One of the best malts I’ve ever had.

  18. PP_Takeda did not rate this whisky Member Junior

    N- 97
    T- 98
    F- 96

  19. Hirado47 did not rate this whisky Newbie

    N: 98
    P: 97
    F: 97

  20. MiguelATA did not rate this whisky Member Junior

    N- 98
    T- 98
    F- 98
    Masterpiece. Long complex finish, mild smoke, fruity. Thanks for the sample Nicky.

  21. Holle525 scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Very good and typical Brora flavours. Really good integrated alcohol and balanced body. Complex taste with a nice sweetness. A little better than Brora 14th Release.

  22. RossMcNeil did not rate this whisky Member Junior

    N: 98
    T: 98
    F: 99

    Glad able to get a sample of this legendary whisky. Light smoke/peat, pepper, citrus, tea, waxy mouthfeel, liquorice, long lingering finish, drying. Sublime! Slainte Mhath.

  23. lincolnimp scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    Tasted with 3 small drops of water.
    This s a really good Brora, still vibrant after all these years.
    Lovely stewed fruit note.
    This is more Lile a Clynelish than a farmy Brora, similarities with the superb & classic 17 year Manager's Dram, which is my all time favourite Clynelish.
    • Nose
      94 94
      What immediately hits you is the candied orange notes which reminds me of some of the best old Clynelish's.
      Stewed exotic fruits galore like, mango but it is with nectarine and the orange note.
      Some dried hay note emerges mixed with burnt wood but being specific it is like the smell you get when you drill something with a block of wood underneath and the wood burns because the drill is a bit blunt, scorched wood if you like?
      sorry hard to imagine I know, or you could describe it as wood cut with a circular saw, the wood smells because of the heat, sorry there is a voice in m head that is saying "enough now you pretentious bastard" it s the little imp on my shoulder talking :)
      Look it`s a good nose alright, in fact a great nose
      Lots of varnish, polish and a hint of air freshener thrown in.
    • Taste
      91 91
      Jesus, WTF, a wave of massive peat has just assaulted my tongue, I got little peat on the nose, it is also quite spicy but there is some bitterness from the oak.
      Now the rich orange emerges but the peat is exploding all over my tongue but there is a lot of stewed fruits in the mix.
      The sherry is there but the peat takes centre stage then the fruit.
      Not the best balanced I have had but it is really fresh for so many years in the cask and that is a sign of a great whisky.
      It would score higher for the palate but for the bitterness but I suppose you an expect that in a whisky this age.
      There is also a waxiness about this one, again like old Clynelish.
    • Finish
      93 93
      This has a long drying finish with still the orange notes to the fore, it is a stewed orange note mixed with a little prune juice.
      This just keeps going.

  24. Wheeler89 did not rate this whisky Member Junior

    gentle peat smoke, coastal brine, fruity, earthy, old leather, slight wax, easy on the mouth neat, with water more fruits, some vanilla, complex, very good finish, long.

  25. KarlHeller did not rate this whisky Newbie

    Wow.. this is another level! Glad i managed to get a sip at a friend's pub, his last bottle of opened Brora. Now I can truly understand the Distillery's legacy. A pity indeed, is no more...

    N: 99
    P: 100
    F: 99

  26. LiquidThoughts scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Interesting and complex, but too dry for me.
    • Nose
      Good corner more delicate than for example the 7th and 8th release, green tea, salted caramel, beautiful peat pear, sweet heather, blossom honey, jute sacks, candle wax, rosemary and lavender, sweet malt
    • Taste
      Very malty and dry, teenies of green and black tea, behind the noble oak and a lot of dry toffee, peat pear, grapefruit peel, Earl Gray, multilayered, chocolate chips, light smoky notes, licorice
    • Finish
      Long, oak, malt, dry, ginger, tea, a touch of ash

  27. Pornhub scored this whisky 95 points Expert Junior

  28. dram-drinker scored this whisky 95 points Photo Moderator

    Very balanced,  rich and complex. There is no extreme or very specific note which is probably the reason that it is so drinkable - like the best wines are the ones that are most balanced. Overall excellent!

    However, my personal favorites are actually the 3rd release (2004) and the 6th release (2007) because they have a bit more punch and dirty notes such as leather and smoke.
    • Nose
      95 95
      Honey, yellow fruits, quinces, just whiffs of leather and smoke, a bit of vanilla, later on hints of fresh and green fruits - excellent
    • Taste
      96 96
      Very oily, creamy, fruity, good sweetness, more fresh fruits, citric, a bit of dry hay, subtle smoky notes - superb
    • Finish
      94 94
      Long and burning, with water the same but not burning anymore, a tad bitter in the end - still great

  29. whiskycuse scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Tasting Notes:

  30. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [April, 2017]  Just a hint for people with smaller pockets:  If you like such a profile try the recent 30+ years Caol Ila bottlings (e.g., from Cadenhead).  They are not on THIS level but offer the best price ratio for a comparable profile at the moment.  Nevertheless they are not cheap either (around 250 Eurobucks)...

  31. Marko_I did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    Delicious. Better than its predecessor (37J./14.Rel), so this is more of an experience than just nice. But for 'legendary distillery, 38 years, high-end prestige OA, 1500 €', I'm still far from dancing and jubilating.
    • Nose
      Smells when pouring something (pleasant) to horse, old leather, then floor wax, furniture polish, slight pepper sharpness, herbaceous (hands after gardening / weeding) ... after a while I've got there 'a light freshness, lemon, lime, something mineral, salty - quite "difficult", but quite interesting
    • Taste
      dark chocolate, strong caramel (Storck Giant), gently spicy, a light, dull and smoky note, sweetish rather than bitter, earthy ... in between, other sweets sometimes peep through - gummy bears, ricola, liquorice, but only little
    • Finish
      long, warm, dry, cocoa, mild pepper / ginger, slightly ashen-bitter

  32. Armin Fuchs scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Tasting of a sample (thanx to Mr. Fine Spirit !!! :-)
    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  33. FineSpirits_butler1 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      90 90

  34. raithrover scored this whisky 92 points Expert Junior

    Colour: olive oil
    Nose: it's the saltiness that strikes home here with that brine costal quality. The smoke shrouds the glass as well. There's an earthy aspect as if you've scooped up a handful of compost and that decaying vegetative aspect. It's rugged but also possess pineapples and red apples with a diesel almost Springbank aspect.
    Taste: more salt and smoke come through with this rugged powerful whisky. Yet it has layers of subtle flavours with all-spice, walnuts with the skins on, apples, cinder toffee and a finish that continues to linger long after you've finished the last drop of whisky.

    Overall: it's a close run thing but the 2016 is a more forceful dingy character than the 2015 release. Both show the great elements of Brora at work, yet I'm still drawn towards the 2015, but wouldn't knock back the charms of 2016!
    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      95 95

  35. corbuso scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    A very good Brora, the oldest so far, with only a slight peatiness and slightly more woody than the previous release.
    Do not expect too much peat from this one. Well made

  36. markjedi1 scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Fruitlessly Sweet
    OK, this is a bit weird. I wrote tasting notes for the 12th Release of Brora, but those have not yet been published and now this one comes along: the Special Release 2016. I tried it at the recent festival Spirits in the Sky and would like to share my notes, so here they are. But those of the 35 year old are coming soon, I promise.
    Old school nose, wonderfully waxy, full of diesel fumes, camphor, wet earth and moss. Add some autumn leaves after a shower. Hint of goat stable. Polished leather. Hot metal. Hint of sea breeze. Subtle smoke. Actually quite introvert, but wonderfully complex.
    The arrvival is rather soft, but also immediately very dry. I can taste the wood. While it does have a sweet side, there is no fruit in there. Some sugared almonds maybe. Then it becomes like a tea that is over infused, followed by ashes and tar, liquorice and paraffine.
    The finish is medium long, losing it smokiness quickly and leaving the mouth completely dry.
    Not the best Brora I have had so far, but still up there with the best. Between 1500 and 2000 EUR. Prohibitively expensive and quite unaffordable to me, but very good indeed. No doubt about that.

  37. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    ‘A vibrant and sublime, textural treat’

    N: Not the most complex nose [by Brora’s standards] yet, simply perfect in it’s own right. Dried malty/oily-putty with vibrant [bourbon & sherry?] fruits [and a perfect, consolidated oak complex], immediately put me in that ‘happy place’ kind of perfect.

    T: Bold, dynamic arrival, starting bitter to sweet to salty, gradually softening to a chewy/textural mouthfeel i haven’t got the words to describe. Without getting into depth about what percentage of sponge to chewy like gum vs soft toffee=fudge it is, lets just say its a sublime, textural treat.

    F: Develops on dry, salty, malt with another textural shift towards something like dried rubbery-ish fish - without any fish flavour, no fish live ‘ere! The finish overall is long and dreamy with complex nutty, herbal and mineral, earthy notes lurking underside.

    C: A vibrant and sublime, textural treat. Someone should make more of this stuff?

    Scores an A[+]

  38. Mr.Sandwich did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Tasting Notes by TWE

    Nose: Waxed boots and jackets, damp blankets and
    dogs, meaty touches with a hint of farmyard, autumn-leaf bonfires, musty
    cheese rind (in a good way) and a touch of tinned pineapple.
    Palate: Soft and sweet, with sugared almonds and
    milk-chocolate-covered hazelnuts balanced by a light floral sweetness
    and a background of earthiness and hay. Sweet liquorice touches build
    along with red fruit gums and gentle smoke.
    Finish: Icing sugar, dark chocolate, earthy smoke and soft spice.
    Comment: While the phrase ‘typical Brora’ seems a
    bit damning, it’s actually a good thing. It balances the smoke and
    earthiness with the other side of Brora’s character: sweet and fruity
    notes. It is a typical Brora: very good.


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