Sample Club: Brora 1979

Sample club 2, sample no. 1

I’ve been quite spoilt since joining a tasting club. In-fact, I joined 3 times such is the obsession (but drew a line at the 4th.) Greedy you say? Interested say I.

Through generally feeling crap and being busy, i have much delayed this latest sample until a time when i was ready. In between this, and the wonderful Glendronach, I have been tasting Linlithgow and Cadenhead (15yo) – and I still have a coating of oil in my mouth since the raw cask sample of Laphroaig 18yo (Blackadder).

So what of this latest one? Currently sat by me, warming my mouth with each sip?

Well it’s another oldie, as you’d perhaps expect from a sample club, this time 1979. I was still a young boy when this was distilled and i think, living in a old coach-house pub in east Yorkshire where legend said Dick Turpin once visited….!I know little of Brora, but that’s the great thing about samples. Something different. Not the usual. Initial read up told me it’s North East Scotland, so the surprise which came to me was from the power of this. The nose is really powerful, almost too strong for what hits your tongue. It misled me, a strong, almost acidic smell with a touch of waxy lemon skin.

On the palate, this was still a strong dram, not as heavy as the smell would suggest, and was oily too. Extremely spicy – this is peppery and hot – this carries on the finish, but this is not as long as I expected.

A revisit after 5 mins or so, reveals a sweeter taste. A bit. Perhaps a hint of honey. But just a hint.

Recommend? Oh yes. This has more in common with an Islay spirit than i would ever have imagined. I didn’t expect to like every whisky I try, but it’s really hard not to find some enjoyment out of this. I haven’t tried it watered (but i never do), but for the next 5 mins i’m going to warm this in my hand and expect the aroma to fill the room more, and the oily and smokey elements to come much more into life.

Oh, and by the way: a full bottle of this retails at about £350!!


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