This is a special dram. Like…really special. Just sitting down with a few drops of this is immediately one of those truly unforgettable whisky moments. Being able to do it more than once is like marrying the prom queen.
The concept of Brora fellation is not new. For years the hype has been building from one of an undercurrent flowing through the blogs and forums to a crescendo of deafening despair for lost opportunities and being born years too late. It’s ok, friends. I’m wailing along with you. It’s whiskies like this that lend credence to the argument that these lost distilleries were something really special.
This 30 year old Douglas Laing (bottled years before the Laing brother break-up) was packaged under the Old & Rare Platinum Selection Single Cask Series. You always have to wonder whether or not a single cask is the best representation of the distillery, but in this case it doesn’t even matter. This is a beautiful whisky irrespective of brand, providence, marketability or price point.
Born in the mid seventies (a couple years prior to the birth of your ‘umble narrator), this spirit left the comfort of cask and made for the big time via bottle in 2007. That a few last bottles lingered on shelves until just weeks ago speaks not to the quality of the whisky in any way, but simply to the sad fact that the powers that be have more intellect than we’re wont to give them credit for, and have priced the dram accordingly. (About $800CA give or take, if memory serves). The thing is…money comes and goes. Whisky like this however? Well…it just goes.
I should note…a mate of mine with exceptional taste in whisky didn’t find this one quite up to the standards that I did, but it brings me back to one of the greatest sentiments I’ve ever heard expressed regarding differing opinions. For the life of me, I can’t recall who said it, but I’d love to give credit where credit is due (was it on Connosr somewhere perhaps?). It went something like this: “Thank God we all have different tastes, otherwise everyone would be in love with my wife.”
Not 100% certain, but this is quite possibly my favorite Brora yet. Exceptional.
Nose: Peat and farmy notes collide up front. A lot of moist lovely tobacco. Dark cherry. Rubber and billowy smoke. Man…what a glorious collision of peat and fruit…simply magic. Some mixed fruits atop warm cream of wheat. Wet rock. Caramel. There’s more here, but now I just need to sit back and enjoy with eyes closed.
Palate: Some impossibly beautifully sweet notes. Peat and smoke. A little but wine-ish. Overwhelmingly intense mouthfeel. Salt and pepper meet lemon. Gooey orange and possibly raspberry. Touch of Amaretto, brings together some sweet fruits and drying nutty flavours. Wow. Just wow.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt