It’s been ages since I reviewed an SMWS bottling, but to be honest, it’s also been ages since I tried a really interesting one. This has nothing to do with a lack of interesting booze, but more an availability problem.
Anyway, Jon had this baby left over from the Broracademy which had taken place slightly before Feis Ile at the old Brora Maltings. A lot of fanatics gathering and bringing booze to celebrate Brora. Sounds like it was a nice enough afternoon!
Of course, Brora closed 30 years ago. There are not many casks left I guess, and the indie varieties are drying up rapidly. Diageo releases one every year but the last couple of years have seen staggering increases in the price of these. They’ve been out of my league ever since they started increasing and going to € 300 from € 200 or less.
Does that mean I would gladly spend € 200 on a bottle of Brora if I could get a good one for that amount? Yes. Simply because it would be ridiculously affordable for the quality of good Brora. Would my wife be happy about me spending that much cash on booze? No. But thinking too much about that is kind of pointless since I would do it anyway, but the situation will never come up!
Smoky but in a very coarse and dry way. More like smouldering embers of a wood fire than a burning one, for example. Old vanilla and sweet oak are present too.
Sweet and richly coated in vanilla, smoke and caramel sauce. It becomes more forceful with every second you let it swim.
The smoke is still the most prominent part but it’s very complex instead of one dimensional. The finish is long, smoky and oaky.
This is stunning whisky and displays a lot of Lagavulin like characteristics. The name ‘Lagavulin from the North’ applies. It’s simply stunning with layers and layers of smoke but a huge variety in smokiness with salty, coastal varietes to thick woody ones. Delish!
Unfortunately, bottles like this have been long gone and even Whiskybase.com doesn’t have a clue what it’s worth. That means that none have been found in shops in the last five years or so. If you want one, auctions would be your best guess.
Oh, on a level of comparison: I think I’d go for the Lagavulin 1993 if I would have to make the choice.
Brora 25, 1978 – 2004, 57%, SMWS ‘Marmalade on burnt toast.’