Brora Triptych 1972
€ 53.498,94 (in Vat)
|Alcohol percentage||48.6, 47.5, 42.8|
|Condition||In Original Luxury Box Set|
Triptych - Age of Peat
Triptych - Timeless Original
Triptych - Elusive Legacy
Part of a 3x50cl. Box Set
Serge Valentin (96)
Timeless: Someone here deserves a medal for this classy example of the subtle art of using half-oxymorons in copywriting. Timeless original? Nostalgia isn't what it used to be! Joking aside, 1982 was a 'low peat' vintage but they were still pretty different from 'new' Clynelish, perhaps more austere and less citrusy, fat and waxy. Let's see… Colour: straw. Nose: they must have selected some better casks. To be honest we've encountered some slightly wishy-washy 1982s in the past, but this is rather closer to the 1977 RM that we tried just a few minutes ago. Having said that I'm also finding some very pretty notes of ripe gooseberries, with a little metal polish, a touch of coconut, and perhaps a little turmeric. A little curry, and 'of course' lemongrass and zests. Mouth: most probably some blender's work. I mean, most other 1982s I could try in the past have been single casks. This time we're close to some Clynelish 1982 or 1983, many of which having been almost out of this world in my opinion. Waxy citrons and bergamots with a tiny touch of salt and smoke, and a dollop of yellow chartreuse, anyone? I wouldn't say I'm surprised, but… oh well yes, I am. Superb. Finish: rather long and waxier yet. Blind, I say Clynelish and I applaud wildly (not glass in hand). Comments: very smart, very well played. To be honest I had thought this would be the set's Achille's heel (S., boo!). 91/100.
Age Of Peat:
All my life, I've been believing that they had made the peatiest Broras in 1970-1972 since that was when they were needing a lot of peaters for their blends. And that since, for example, Caol Ila's extension had been completed, they were in the need for less from 1974 on. And that consequently, the level of peat was decreased at Brora. But a new version - well could be that I've simply been all wrong all those years – is that they actually increased the peat levels until around 1977, and only decreased them later on. I must admit that the 1977 Rare Malts was pretty peaty. Colour: gold. Nose: it is just incredible to nose the RM and this new Triptych in parallel, for they are so close. Someone's burning old pinewood in the fireplace, and coal in the stove! Someone else is doing inhalation baths with camphor and eucalyptus, and a third person is smoking salmon over beechwood. All that in the same room. Mouth: hold on, could this be around 45 years of age? Only yesterday, the 21/1977 RM was in the shops! Quite. So this is austere, ashy, dry, then rather spicier, somewhat in the stye of that first SR, with some curry and ginger. Must be the wood. A lot of tension remaining, which I always found very 'Brora', but there's also more waxy citrus emerging over time. Beeswax, kumquats, a wee bit of yuzu… But the 'bed' remains superbly austere and, yes, vertical. Finish: rather long, fat and tight at the same time. Watch this new silly adjective: 'Meursaulty'. One day, the Scots will jail me. Comments: actually, we've never tried many different 1977s, so it is not that easy to describe the style of that vintage – if we may talk about 'vintages' in whisky. Grand whisky. 92/100
For decades and as far as Brora was concerned, I've believed that there was 1972 on the one side, and all other vintages on the other side. And between us, that's never been because I used to think that the 1972s were 'elusive', quite the opposite. But that's just a word on a bottle, a funny one at that. Well done. Colour: gold. Nose: oh well oh well oh well. Almost a 50 years old. It is still tight, tarry, a wee bit rubbery, with these whiffs of new Teflon, wee pink artichokes, ski wax, oysters, elastomer, creosote, then a little fresh butter, lanoline, hand cream, newspapers, then kelp and seawater, whelks, fresh crabs (I'm not joking), then bitter almonds, hints of sage and tarragon, parsley, and even, after fifteen minutes, wet dogs! (we're sorry as ever, dogs). Astounding complexity. Mouth: as they say, three things are certain in life; death, taxes, and the fact that Brora 1972 is eternal. What was not totally sure yet was if it would take real old age, especially wood, well. I mean, if the tea-ishness that really old aging usually brings – well always – would mingle well with this spirit's inherent style. The answer is yes. Salted smoked almonds, smoked oysters, magazines, chewing rubber bands, drinking lapsang souchong and young pu-her, smoked oysters, kippers, menthol cigarettes, cannabis resin, salty lemons, white tequila (half a drop), gentian… Well this is endless. Finish: for the record. Comments: every time you try a Brora 1972 it is like if you're having one for the first time in your life. A Brora 1972 always surprises you. I just hope it is this style that they'll make again at the 'New' Brora Distillery. Could they also have been restarting some Saladin boxes somewhere? At Ord? Updtae: they have bot.
Nose: quite a fruity, almost tropical Brora, showing a great mix of ripe peaches and mango, mixing nicely with typical wax candles and coconut cream. Herbal honey. Hay. Also delicate mineral oils and mint leaves. After some time in the glass it develops light floral touches.
Mouth: quite punchy and very waxy. Still this exhuberant fruitiness of overripe apricots, pink grapefruits and bergamot. Then some heather honey, fruit tea and a light hint of bubblegum. There’s no significant peatiness but a light hint of menthol and charred oak spice nonetheless. In the last sip even a very light hoppy aromatic.
Finish: long, still rounded and waxy, with minty overtones.
This is an excellent example of the ‘Clynelish style’ of Brora, which means hardly any peat but full-on fruits and an unparalleled waxy texture. Not the epitome of Brora’s soul in my opinion but in itself the whisky is magnificent, probably the best from this vintage. 93/100
Age of Peat:
Nose: more robust, with (moderate) earthy smoke and cold ashes, some pine wood, slightly floral herbs like eucalyptus and some shoe polish. Hints of barbecued banana, peach and vanilla in the background.
Mouth: drier now, a lot less rounded than the 1982, with hardly any fruits (perhaps a hint of sweet apple) but rather sweet herbs, leather, cinnamon and mint. A mild waxy note. Also gingery touches and a sharper coastal edge. Herbal tea.
Finish: long and earthy, with ashy notes and subtle liquorice.
While this is definitely sharper and more robust, there’s not a lot of peat left (as such). It’s nicely transformed into herbal notes and makes this the earthy expression in the set.(92/100
Nose: now we’re talking. To me Brora is about farmy notes and they are certainly here. Wet hay and goat stables, mixed with wet wool, fresher spearmint, green herbs, seaweed, almonds and warm leather. Precious balms and ointments, the sweetness of roasted pineapple and a very light hint of tarry ropes as well. Lots of tiny nuances – this is a marvellous combination, quite delicate but a joy to unravel.
Mouth: deep flavours yet slightly fragile at the same time, with slightly less of that creamy, oily texture. There’s more chocolate here, crushed peppercorns, faded peat and faint metallic notes. Also clove and a hint of dark brewed Pu-Ehr tea. Menthol. Subtle hints of cigar leaves.
Finish: very long, oilier again, with tea and quintessential mint.
This nose alone is out of this world and totally unique – this can be nothing but Brora. The age turned it into a sophisticated gentleman, but it’s still very vibrant and full of life, even at almost 50 years of age. Now imagine they could reproduce this… In any case, congratulations! 95/100