Brora distillery was founded in 1819 by the Marquess of Stafford and was called Clynelish distillery and situated in Brora, Sutherland.

The distillery was bought by SMD (later Diageo) in 1930 but it was closed in 1968 after a new "Clynelish" distillery was built across the road from this old one.

Following production quota difficulties in their Port Ellen distillery on Islay, SMD reopened this distillery to produce an


Islay style, peated malt for blending. It was around this time that SMD renamed this old 'Clynelish' distillery to Brora (after the twon where it's situated). Sadly, the rejuvenation didn't last too long and it was finally closed in 1983.


Distillery photo with kind permission by Alan Jamieson


More great distillery info here thanks to Malt Madness



  Brora   General whisky characteristics: Creamy, slight smoke, fruit, pungent, exquisite  

Brora, OB, 25y, bottled in 2008, 56.3% ABV

bottle No. 104 of 3000

Cost of this bottle:


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich yellow, 18 carat gold

Nose: Initially malt. toffee and hints of slightly pungent butterscotch. After a few minutes this loses the pleasant hints of toffee and butterscotch, only to be left with those pungent, almost damp & unpleasant aromas. After about 15 minutes it's just musty & pungent. After 40 minutes the mustiness is finally beginning to turn slightly fruity with a hint of faintly smoky peat. As we near an hour in the glass this has transformed from butterscotch and toffee, to musty and damp, then to faintly smoky peat. It now has only very faint peat, with a little fruit (bitter apple), some rubber and leather notes.

Palate: Rich and spicy with sharp fruit and just a hint of smoke. Some Autinmal countrysude freshness too.

With 4 drops of water: Smoother, creamier, slightly more fruity and altogether more rounded.

Finish: Long, very long with the drops of water.

Overall Impression: Given enough time and a few drops of water this finally rewards.



Brora, OB, 30y, bottled in 2009, 53.2% ABV

bottle No. 482 of 2652

Cost of this bottle:


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: 9 carat gold

Nose: Initially malty, creamy, freshly cut grass. After a few minutes this opens to include the slightest hints of peat which sit well with the creaminess to almost make a faintly peaty ice cream with a slight fruitiness in the background. After about 15 minutes the fruitiness is becoming almost mandarine. After 40 minutes there's a lingering sweetness with a hint of bonfire embers. After an hour in the glass this has changed totally and now reminds me of a lazy morning in the sauna. Those scorched rocks, splashed with water to give a hot smoky effect, along with the toasted pine of the sauna cabin are all present. No real peat now, just that smoky wood and something quite floral in the background.

Palate: Deliciously luxurious cream which soon opens to include spicy (tingling) sweet popcorn and a hint of coconut-coated liquorice and even a hint of candy floss.

With 4 drops of water: The nose is slightly more aromatic and the palate even more luxurious, creamy, rich and just .... exquisite.

Finish: Very long, almost never-ending with the drops of water. Sweet, light butterscotch.

Overall Impression: Exquisite. Well worth the time.



Brora, OB, 30y, bottled in 2010, 54.3% ABV

bottle No. 2995 of 3000

Cost of this bottle:

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light bright oak

Nose: Lots of very aromatic oak, then biscuit, floral coconut, hyacinth and even a suggestion of drying paint. Finally there's the faintest hint of a light smokiness.

Palate: Smooth and creamy biscuit followed by a fruitiness with raspberry, apricot and peach. There's also faint almond and a hint of cappuccino, then some treacle toffee right at the end leading into the finish.

Finish: Long and succulent.

Overall Impression: Don't be put off by my "drying paint" comment, this has a magnificent nose. In fact it's a magnificent whisky overall.











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