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1977 Brora 38 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) - Special Release 2016
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- ABV 48.6%
Since Diageo first commenced the Special releases in 2001, annual bottlings continue to thrill whisky hunters and tempt collectors. Stand out barrels are selected from the company's 28 operational single malt distilleries as well as two closed distilleries, Port Ellen and Brora. (Two grain distilleries are also in the mix).If there is to be no more Brora (and it now seems almost certain that there won't be) it will be a terrible shame, but there are still bottlings trickling out. What is beyond doubt is that this will be a whisky aficionados are talking about decades after the last bottle is finally gone. The 1977 has a high standard to meet given the superb quality of previous editions. Collector's should note, it's also the oldest Brora to date released by Diageo. A massive score from Serge Valentin of www.whiskyfun.com. 2,984 bottles available worldwide. Other reviews... Last year’s SR was already a 1977, and I just loved it (WF 95). 1977 and similar vintages never quite had the reputation of, say 1972, but now that quite some water has flown under the Scottish bridges, the complexity of those whiskies just stands out. Plus, it’s not impossible that Diageo have been rather picky with the casks they selected for these recent releases… Colour: refreshingly golden. Nose: oh f*** it. I almost feel like I should leave it all here, and rather taste the new Glenkinchie. This is like nosing the hot engine of an old Aston. Bakelite, castor oil, petrol, fumes, tyres… It’s not very expressive, in fact, but it’s one of the most elegant noses I’ve been given to put under my nostrils in recent months. Or perhaps years. Also love these whiffs of ‘old books under the rain’, carbon paper, manure, autumn leaves (under the rain as well), damp earth, moss… Oh and these notes of new electronics, when we used to unpack a new stereo, around 1975… And the camphor is there as well, a bit of seaweed (nori?), paraffin oil, perhaps tinned sardines… My my my! Mouth: I had thought it would have gotten a little shy – at least shier than younger expressions – but not at all, it still roars and kicks you. What’s really remarkable is how dry it is, it’s even drier than the driest manzanilla! Ashes, bitter green tea, liquorice extracts, artichokes, tar… You’d almost believe you’re eating tiger balm at times. Well, I imagine. More wax and paraffin as well, mints, perhaps a little tarragon, bitter almonds for sure… What a ride! There are even hints of very old Sauternes that’s integrally digested its sugar. Finish: long, still bone dry, with more artichoke and ashes. A sublime dryness. Comments: the opposite of all these new Kardashian whiskies that abound here and there. Philosophical whisky, perfectly blended. Same score as last year, but it needs no score, of course. It’s expensive whisky, but I find it a little depressing that the Port Ellen would be 40% more expensive! Don’t get me wrong, it’s the PE that’s too expensive, and not this Brora that’s too cheap! Anyway…
95 points - www.whiskyfun.com