Brora 30, 6th Release

Brora 30, 6th ReleaseLet us go from Black Label to Brora.

There’s nothing left for someone like me to say about Brora. Let me quickly bemoan the passing of the time when Diageo’s special releases hung around for years, and even the 6th release of Brora 30 could be found easily for another 3-4 years for less than $300, and then let’s get right to it.

Brora 30, 6th Release (55.7%; 2007 release; from my own bottle)

Nose: Minerally, very slightly farmy peat with a hint of gunpowder. Softer, sweeter notes waft up from below: toffee, apricot, marmalade, plum—all married with that flinty note. A little bit of shortbread, a little bit of gingerbread—basically, I’m getting slightly spicy baked goods. With more time there’s some dried orange peel and some leather and a bit of mustard. Gets more briny as well. With water there’s some almond oil but also a faint butyric note.

Palate: Leathery, gunpowdery peat at first which explodes into first sweetness (apricot) and then brine and mustard and coal smoke. Nice oily mouthfeel. Much more peppery on the second sip with the smoke turning sooty. A lot more citrus too—orange at first but then it gets brighter (lemon zest) and the smoke gets more mustardy/briny. With water it’s both sweeter (orange) and more peppery; and more leathery too.

Finish: Long. The briny, sooty notes linger and then the fruit comes back turning more citrussy as it goes. Water makes the finish even longer and saltier.

Comments: Great whisky indeed but, frankly, it’s nothing so transcendentally good or unique as to make me wish I could have afforded to buy more of this or others in the series. Most of what I like about this I can get from older Talisker. But wait, older Taliskers are also becoming more and more prohibitively expensive and/or diluted. Now I’m confused.

Rating: 91 points.


5 thoughts on “Brora 30, 6th Release

  1. this is one of the scotch prophet favs. your rating does not match your adjectives. not sure you’ll find this profile many places eleswhere. Perhaps the 35yo 2013 tali has some matching but not 1-1.

    farmy peat
    apricot, marmalade, plums
    shortbread, gingerbread
    orange peel, leather, mustard
    almond oil

    coal smoke
    oily mouthfeel
    peppery, sooty
    orange, lemon-zest


    • Thanks for the link! I’m dealing with a similar conclusion to yours. It’s excellent whisky, but I felt the need to clarify that it’s not the brain-melting orgasm-inducing fluid that some have made certain Broras out to be. I’m also having cognitive issues due to the fact that the bottle costs more than a roundtrip flight between LAX and Heathrow. Otherwise, it’s really good stuff. I’m glad you got a bottle before the price boom.


  2. Drinking this again tonight. The bottle has now been open for more than 6 years (with squirts of inert gas after every pour) and it may actually be getting better as it sits in the bottle. Altogether rounder and fruitier tonight with more sweet citrus and sea salt crystals. I’d probably nudge it up to 92 points tonight.


  3. Almost 10 years after I opened the bottle—and many, many squirts of inert gas later—it is finally down to the last quarter. I don’t expect it will last very far past the new year. Tonight, the nose is wonderfully fruity and the palate is quite a bit smokier than I reported in 2018. Still an excellent whisky.


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