Diageo announces the availability of the Brora 40YO 200th Anniversary edition – from its iconic ghost distillery – for the Singapore market.
For those who aren’t too familiar with Scotch whisky, Brora was one of the distilleries closed down by owner Diageo back in the 1980s. First founded in 1819, its stills fell silent in 1983 when the distillery was considered surplus to requirements during a period of weak market sentiment in the 80s. Its remaining casks rested for many years until Diageo discovered – to a mixture of elation and horror – what was within; elation because the quality whisky inside had developed an amazing complexity, and horror when they realised what a missed opportunity closing Brora had been.
That’s probably why they’ve recently decided to reopen Brora, which will reopen in 2020. In the meantime Diageo has been slowly releasing the remaining stocks of Brora, almost always as part of its annual Special Releases range for private customers, destined for luxury global travel retail collections, or blended into special Johnnie Walker expressions such as the recent Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Brora.
So when Brora issues a new expression that doesn’t quite fall into any of the above, people sit up and take notice. This newly released Brora 40YO 200th Anniversary limited edition is the first commercial release from Brora since Diageo’s 2017 Special Releases and plays on that nostalgia, vatting vintage stock from 1978 to commemorate two centuries of distilling.
For this, Diageo Master Blender Dr Craig Wilson selected twelve American oak hogshead casks from a particular period in Brora’s past when it was making heavily peated whisky to supply for blending. “Of all the stories of Brora, there is one that seemed particularly fitting to tell on its 200th anniversary. From 1969-83, there was a new experimentation phase in production and the Brora distillers created a smoky malt used heavily-peated Northern Highland barley. Used primarily in blends at the time, the few casks that are left from this Age of Peat, matured remarkably well and what remains is a multi-layered and complex single malt of astonishing quality,” explained Dr Wilson.
Each bottle comes in deep burgundy velvet display case, and the bottle itself is adorned with the Brora emblem of the Scottish wildcat – the crest of the distillery’s founder, the Duke of Sutherland.
The 49.2% ABV Brora 40YO 200th anniversary edition is available in Singapore from Diageo Rare & Exceptional at the retail price of S$6,700 for a 70cl bottle, inclusive of duties and taxes. Only 1,819 bottles are available worldwide. For more information or to purchase a bottle, you can contact Diageo’s private client team by emailing PrivateClientSG@Diageo.com.
Official Tasting Notes – Brora 40YO 200th Anniversary Edition
colour Clear amber. Fine long beading. Good viscosity.
nose Cautious, with slight pickle at first, then sweet, smoky-peat wafts of treacle toffee, smoke with iodine. Rich, sweet fruit. Ripe figs. Raisins. Fire and brimstone. With water, hessian sacking, fine tweed, notes of the warehouse; all lightly harmonious, with elements of land, sea and sky. o Body: Medium, smooth.
body Medium to full.
palate An exquisitely smooth, lightly waxy texture and a powerful, rich, darkly sweet, savoury then finally smoky taste, with great balance, length and persistence. Richly winey and fruity throughout, with dried figs and dates. Spiciness and growing smoky warmth; white pepper. Best straight but also deliciously drinkable with a dash of water, which adds to the sweetness and brings up a minty note; suggesting mint imperials, whilst dialling back the darker character. All this is still underpinned by a smokiness that is also held more in check but still very much present.
finish Long, rich and sweetly warming, with more white pepper, subsiding to leave a lightly smoky aftertaste. With water, much sweeter and more mint-cool, and at the very end lightly drying.