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Brora 30yo 1981/2011

(54.6%, Chieftain's, sherry butt, C#1523, 750ml)
Average Score: 92
Bottle Profile
TypeScotch Single Malts (Disclosed Distilleries)
Brand NameBrora
Year Distilled1981
Year Bottled2011
Alcohol By Volume54.6%
Other Detailssherry butt
Cask Number#1523
Average Score92

Maniac Ratings
Rich Howard92

Tasting Notes
Rich Howardthis one starts off light and clean, with apple skins, cold unsalted butter, olive oil and just a hint of lemon peel on the nose. then the olive oil turns to hints of mineral spirits, and some mineral water as well. when that clears after a few seconds, a classic but restrained oloroso nose emerges, with a handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries and raw salted almonds, a hint of dry tree bark and toasted oak, ending on a dash of fresh spearmint and a waft of cocoa butter. the palate is sweet and quite salty, the almonds are roasted now, with dark chocolate and plenty of spices (cinnamon, pepper, even a hint of clove, some mint on the finish), ending on an herbal note. just a tad hot at 54.6%, but that's to be expected. with a few drops of water, the nose is elegant, a perfect balance of olive oil, fresh green apples and blueberries, still some salted almonds in the background, and a hint of oak, the wood nicely (and surprisingly) restrained for a thirty year old highland whisky. the palate has not yet been tamed, and bursts with berries, apples, plenty of salted nuts, black pepper and tannic oak. still a touch herbal on the finish, but less so now. just a touch of lovely vanilla begins to emerge, mostly on the nose, but a light infusion in the palate as well. summary: outstanding. the sherry influence is perfectly integrated; i didn't expect this whisky to retain so much distillery character after thirty years in a sherry butt. requires water -- get the amount right, and you will be rewarded.