15th SpRel 2984 bottles 2016, refill am hgsh/refill eur sh butts
Region: Northern Highlands
Score: 95p (N: 23 T: 24 A: 24 C: 24)
Brora has never been a big-smoker, lately also increasingly sweet doomed. Compared with the sweet-fueled version of last year Law & Company have found a completely different cask constellation from the same year 1977. The nose is actually quite dumb, but sophisticated and sexy anyway! From above tobacco smoke and sherry fumes. Centrally syrup and peat, deep down nasal olde esters and tropical fruit. The taste is all about wonderful olde esters. Dried pineapple glimpses, direct dried apricot and leather, halfway deep heavy bitter-sweet exotic fruits accompanied by mild peat skies – incredibly more-ish and complex fruit palate. Low-key fading, drawling/eternal olde esters with just enough bitterness steams on, little warmth carries, smoky phenols mark the origin. A small water drop adjusts the balances slightly. The same rounded estery nose, yummy! Above some BBQ, in depth a little cow dung. Fresher fruit flavour with more small citrus accompanied by fatter shortbread, halfway spirited aromatic oak that drowns out the smoke. The aftertaste lifts and broadens with a sooty BBQ feeling, fresher fruits like pineapple and nectar drives. More oak fills up, fine tight tannins prolong. Far from a 38-year dead man, it’s incredibly vital and un-oaky. I’m amazed by blessed Brora’s creativity and diversity. Oldest release to date, the 40-year mark is near. I do believe the best of 1977 is harvested, the question is what Diageo will come up with next year. Richer fruits, maybe a bit more choosy smoke? For sure we will be surprised.