Connosr, by the way, is a wonderful and vibrant whisky community. If you’re not a part of it yet, sign up here.
It was based on Serge’s passionate recommendation that I looked further into Brora. Thank you Serge!
Thanks to Master of Malt, I was able to choose this as a whisky blogger’s freebee from their Drinks by the Dram selection as long as I posted on it. Thank you Master of Malt!
Ok, enough of the plugs, let’s get to work…
On the nose — Light and soft, yet upfront with notes of peat smoke and a good deal of smoked salt.
Herbal tea – chamomile mostly.
Medicinal – almost reminds me of fresh band-aids.
The peat is ever present here and there’s a peppery prickliness to this.
Even under these peaty & medicine notes I can detect some fruits – banana (peel) & peach skins.
A good deal of vanilla that somehow went undetected until about a minute into nosing this.
On the mouth — Creamy entry followed by fire – very hot stuff!
Hotter than I expected at 53.2%.
Let’s try this again and see if I need to add a wee bit of water…
Apples – fresh ones at that – and etrog (like a lemon, less intense yet much more fragrant).
Very waxy and still medicinal.
The herby/grassy quality I got on the nose carries through here.
“All-sorts” licorice candies.
Less smoky on the palate as compared to the nose.
Did I mention this is delicious?
Some dried fruits in there, mostly fig.
Finish — Mint notes appear, some almond & a tad more licorice.
In sum — My first Brora and, I’m in love. The style of this whisky is quite unique. I love the older, more elegant peat in this. This is black tie whisky. I’d love to pair this stuff with some nice chocolates. A treat, through & through!
Highland region – 46%ABV – 700ml – Limited bottling 1 of 3551 – $446 | £278 |€325 (I bought my bottle a good while back and did not pay these prices. My bottle number, by the way, is # 3535)
Where do I begin, and to what do I compare the feelings I had upon opening this bottle so as NOT to make a comparison to my *first time* with a girl and the anticipation some teenage boys, such as I was, feel regarding the prospect? Aw, crap. I just made the comparison, now didn’t I? At least there were no details, right? Right.
In all seriousness, I’ve had this bottle sitting in my whisky cabinet for a good 2 years (or so) before I went ahead and opened it. It didn’t stay there because I was planning on keeping it for whisky collecting purposes. No, it just so happened that I wanted to wait until the right time (whatever that would be) to open and enjoy it. Thanks to you, I discovered what that special time was and, even though I haven’t gotten there yet, I’m well on my way on what I believe is the right track to attaining that goal.
So, why did I open this bottle if I hadn’t reached my goal yet? Well, that is all explained in this here post.
Let’s just say that opening it was a thrill. And to be in the good company of friends who are fellow whisky geeks/bloggers (Jason, Sam, that’s you!) made it all the more special.
Anyone who frequents the blog or knows me personally understands that I’ve basically got a boner for all things Glenmo. If you’ve not tried their range in a while, I REALLY suggest you give it another go. Their current line up is very special – even down to their 10yr “Original.”
And shit, if the contents of that bottle didn’t smell like pure heaven…
I’ve used this video once before (for another Glenmorangie whisky) and few drams can be compared to what is being compared in this video but, enjoy!
On to the review…
On the nose — A very un-Glenmo nose.
Wafts of over-ripe grapes.
Delicious prune like notes.
Scents of grass and wild flowers (the little white daisies that aren’t so sweet smelling – very earthy).
Italian herb rub.
Fine red wine for the holidays.
Subtle notes of apples and peach (wine soaked peaches at that!).
Big chunks of chocolate.
Paper lunch bags.
On the mouth — Powerful – like licking a dank dirt floor cellar; musty and earthy.
I wouldn’t want this any other way.
Very tannic, big wine and tobacco.
Lots of dried fruits with a focus on raisins and prunes.
This is really massive and the mouth feel goes back and forth between creamy and peppery.
Finish — Very drying finish, oaky and hints again of that herb-rub I got on the nose.
In sum — Delectable. Way too big for daily dramming (also, too expensive & limited for it as well). Handle with care.
This is the elephant in the room. Not to be ignored.
If drinking with friends, the conversation needs to be deep and it should be centered around this beauty or you’re just not giving it its due respect.
Starting tomorrow I will begin a kosher whisky series (in celebration of the Jewish new year). Before that series started, I wanted to end this year with one of the better Campbeltown malts out today – Longrow 10yr 100 proof.
Longrow, for those who do not know, is Campbeltown’s heavily peated whisky. If you’ve not yet tried a whisky from Campbeltown, that needs to change, STAT. Maybe this can be your first.
On the nose — I initially purchased this whisky because of Dr. Whisky’s notes on it and I have to say that, with regards to the nose on this one, I agree with him — Salt n’ peppa, limes and Thai food (specifically Ming Com – good Thai places will have this dish but most, likely will not have it on their menu).
Fantastic peat smoke backbone that many may miss.
On the mouth — Vanilla bean ice cream.
Saltier than most Campbeltown malts I’ve had – wow (I can almost feel the salt crystals growing on my teeth – an obvious exaggeration but, damn, this is salty stuff)!
Orange creamsicle minus the orange.
Thick-ooey-and-chewy whisky goodness.
Earthy smokey notes.
Finish — Looonnnggg, this whisky has staying power (the Dirk Diggler of Scotch whisky).
In sum — Fun and bright. A great summery aperitif whisky that is unlike most whiskies out there. If you want something that’s not the hum-drum, seek this out. This is also one of those great “hey, check this one out” type whisky like, perhaps, the Master of Malt 26yr Bowmore. Not due to flavor, due to uniqueness.
I find their line to be so refreshing, different, complex as all heck and just… well, wonderful.
So again — Hi, My name is Joshua and I am a Glenmorangie devotee. (“Hi Joshua”).
Let’s see how this expressions fares with the others I’ve mentioned and lined to:
On the nose – Loads of Mexican vanilla extract.
Wisps of strawberry.
Spice, spice, spice.
A bowl full of lemons (you know what to do with a bowl full of lemons, right?).
A strong backbone of oak.
Some malt notes (I guess you should expect such a thing from Scotch malt whisky).
With a touch of water, some brighter and different fruits come out: pineapple and unripened pears.
On the mouth –Big creamy vanilla attack.
Made my mouth water uncontrollably. I haven’t drooled in a while but… wow.
Citrus notes for sure.
Warmed peaches and cream.
With the addition of water the creaminess goes away (unfortunately) but a stronger spiciness comes out.
Finish – Malt, toffee and pure hot firey alcohol.
In sum – New wood goodness. This is a big, strong, in your face yet strangely lighter style of whisky. I’m not sure about this one. Oh, it’s a nice whisky. A really nice whisky; don’t get me wrong here. It’s just I’m not quite sure of where in the Mood-And-Season-O-Meter™ it fits. I would reach for this in the dead of winter for sure (due to the high-octane quality of this whisky). However, it’s very light in style – something you think would be great for the summer time… Hmmm, I’ll let you decide.
So, in case you haven’t guessed it already, I am not a whisky blogger/reviewer for a living. I have passions and this is one of them. I am also a musician; I play bass guitar in a rock band called Kimono Draggin’.
In real life, I am a traveling salesman. Most of my time away from home (Connecticut) is spent in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, etc… Occasionally, however, I do get to go to some really cool and different places (not knocking Chicago, New York or Milwaukeee, I love those towns) such as Montreal.
I was in Montreal this past Sunday & Monday. What a cool and vibrant city! First off, everyone in Montreal is a model. I don’t know how they do it but every one is hot out there. Very cool. My extra 15 pounds made me feel like the fattest American in the world. Additionally, while I was out there I ran into Kirsten Dunst on her way into a vegan restaurant, which was uber-cool.
I ran in to Kirsten (though, admittedly, she didn’t give me this fancy look. I think she may have been scared that I was paparazzi or something…) on my way to The Whisky Cafe which boasts 150+ malts in stock. They also have a cigar bar. I had to go; come on, right!!! While I was there I got the chance to try a whisky not available in the US: Nikka Yoichi 12yr (actually, Nikka, regardless of age or expression, is not available in the US; a total bust if you ask me)
So here’s my thoughts on this Japanese whisky:
Initial whiffs — Really fruity!! Strawberries, lots of them, pepper, vanilla (it almost noses like the Glenfarclas 15yr, perhaps it’s the spicy pepperiness of it all). With a dash of water caramel comes through, big time, chocolate & old wooden furniture.
On the mouth – Very thin palate, more like Grappa, effervescent (little bubbles and fast ones at that), plastic shopping bags and white grape soda (if there were a thang). Again, with a dash of water, it get quite earthy, almost a damp earth quality to it and less thin
Finish –Tannic, very drying, the effervescence remains but with that water, the creaminess carries through.
In sum — There is a lot here – a whole hell of a lot here and each level of tasting had something new to offer. You could drink this and not think about it but if you set out to taste it rather than drink it well… you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. Well done Nikka!!