Whisky Review: Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Brora 1978

Style: Sweet and Complex

Nose:
Beautifully dense honey and rhubarb jam on the nose. Peat smoke seemingly soft, but firmly weaved into the aroma. Dig deeper we come to another layer of honey, waxy, but more subdued with peppermint and dry mineral spices on the rise. Rose strawberry jam overtone and a few drops of lime juice.

Palate:
Impressively dense palate, another rose petal shower leading to a wave of baked lemon and stew fruits. A waxy, honey core unfolds while faint peat smoke slowly squeezing out from it. Butterscotch fusing into rhubarb jam. A slightly zesty, floral overtone. Heavier, sooty peat elevates, followed by black liquorice and vanilla cookies. Dry cereal malt takes over at the back, pinch of rock salt, finishes with a hint of smoked honey ham.

Finish:
Milk chocolate, orange candy coating around the honey core. Cereal note lingers, honey breaks free and overflowing for quite a while.

Thoughts:
Comparing the recent Original Bottlings, this is a relatively bold, straightforward Brora. Remarkably dense, a lot of flavours are tightly knitted together that you can feel it carries an unusual weight. Plenty of red fruit influence can be felt here so it might be a refill sherry cask (I just checked and it is actually first fill sherry). Incredible complex spirit just like other Broras, love it!

☆ [Recommended]

[46% • 2013 • Independent Bottling • Limited Edition • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Aged 35 Years • Lot Number: RO/13/05 • First Fill Sherry Cask • Closed Distillery • Sample Tasting]

-Esmond