Review: Brora 32 y.o. OB

A shorter note today, but one of a very famous bottling: the highly acclaimed Brora 32 y.o. – I could try this at a friend’s house (thanks, Michael) after a nice dinner last night. This dram was the perfect way to finish the evening. This very limited Brora (1500 btl.) was vatted from both refill European and American oak casks and the first official 32 years old bottling after the numerous 30 y.o releases from 2002 on). Most scores for it were over 90, but people mentioned that this special release needs some time to develop or one can miss the magic. We looked into the glass for you:


Brora 32 y.o. OB Special Release 2011 (Annual Release No. 10), 1500 btl., 54,7%

Comment: Very austere, maritime and mineral, a typical old Brora, but a bit less farmyardy in the nose than usual. It almost strikes me as mild with notes of waxed apple, herbs, discrete vanilla, camphor, diesel and a put-out bonfire (coal smoke, soot ashes) on a stony beach with storm clouds rolling in. More on elegance than power altogether, so you have to be into austerity to go nuts for this one. This profile totally changes in the mouth, it literally explodes on the palate without becoming too sharp. This Brora just went from mild to wild while keeping a great balance. It now unfolds the breathtaking 1972-ish peat-soot-farmyard combo and also reminds me of the Talisker-esque bite (here on black pepper). There are some sweet milky-vanilla-licorice moments that get wiped out by the powerful elements in the finish. The traces of lemony fruits and leather can hold on though and counter the sooty ash and peat. A dram that screams for another glass. It is between the recent releases and a legendary 1972. No water is necessary but the Brora 32 can swim well. I am afraid this one will become very expensive in a few years.

Score: 92

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