After a break from writing, I now obtain reviews. The scripture has not stopped me from tasting new whiskeys, so here is what has come to me over the last few months. This prestigious roundup features an older Glenfiddich, a trio of Brora releases, a closed (and now recently reopened) distillery, and some more old and dignified drama series.
Here is my usual disclaimer. These reviews reflect my personal views about the whiskey and that these are not in any way requested or considered official by Forbes. Often, but not always, I get sent a sample or have a chance to try it at a tasting, but opinions are always my own.
A quick note on my (loosely applied) criteria. When I choose whiskey for review, I do not have much requirement other than that the whiskey should ideally have been released within the last few months and that the bottles can be purchased for the public, preferably to a global market. Also keep in mind that the prices I include here may not be the same elsewhere where you might find the bottle.
I will also include some links at the bottom of this article for my previous review rounds.
Here is a guide to my scoring system. I rate whiskey out of 10 to the nearest half point:
0-4-Avoid this bottle
5 / 5.5 – Hardly passable
6 / 6.5 – Decent enough, not really for me, but you might like it.
7 / 7.5 – Good
8 / 8.5 – Extremely good
The whiskeys are listed in alphabetical order:
Brora Elusive Legacy 48 Years Old (1972), $ 41,900, 42.8% ABV
Description: Brora Triptych is a package of three bottles of older whiskey from the closed distillery Brora (which has recently reopened). This is the oldest Brora ever made public.
Nose: Two separate layers appear, one is very mineral and almost soapy. The other is fruity. Apples, apricots and plums. Own builds bridge between the two.
Taste: Dirty, greasy, waxy and really oaky. A bit like a dusty construction site, although this is balanced by lovely herbal tones including basil as well as fruits including apricots again.
Overall: Almost for own, but almost everything holds together. 8.5
Brora Age of peat 43 years old (1977), 48.6% ABV
Description: The middle child in the Triptyk release from Brora, this is a highly peat whiskey that was originally produced to be used in blends at the time.
Nose: The antiseptic smoke hits first and hits hard, but softens into pears, mushroom cake and hot cocoa.
Taste: Sunday-fried parsnips and carrot cake provide the sweetness, as well as beetroot soup and mango. Woody incense, oak and antiseptic, however, are always there, surrounding and enclosing these elements.
Overall: Punchy. 8.5
Brora Timeless Original 38 Years (1982), 47.5% ABV
Description: This is the youngest of the three Broras from the Triptych collection.
Nose: Extremely natural and green. Cut grass and thyme are sprinkled on green apples. Own adds a lot of muscle, and a medical forceps rounds things off.
Taste: Salty, but also creamy. White chocolate brings sweetness and a thick waxy texture, although there is also fennel and celery that give it a vegetal angle that really works.
Overall: While the intense peat was fun, this style of Brora is loved by whiskey geeks for a reason. 9
Glenallachie 30 year old Cask Strength Batch 1, $ 665, 48.9% ABV
Description: 9 dishes with a combination of PX and Oloroso sherry as well as Chinkapin virgin oak were mixed together for Glenallachie’s oldest ever core range.
Nose: Deep. Turmeric and beef stew open up for dark fruits, including cherries, figs and prunes.
Taste: Soft but leathery. Own makes its presence feel more here, but provides plenty of room for rhubarb crumble, grapes and boiled beets.
Overall: Like getting a slice of rhubarb pie while sitting in a leather car interior. 9
Glenfiddich Grand Couronne 26 years, $ 630, 43.8% ABV
Description: The latest release from Glenfiddich’s Grand Series, whiskey matured in a combination of American and European oak, was then transferred to ex-Cognac casks for up to two years.
Nose: Nicely resilient. It is also light and malty. Pears, lemon peel and honey are nicely rounded with a touch of lemongrass.
Taste: Unexpected earthliness. Walnuts, roasted hashbrowns, apples and a light but definitely lard-like fat.
Overall: Surprisingly greasy, like a really good Scottish breakfast. 8.5
Glenglassaugh 50 years old, $ 7,685, 40.1% ABV
Description: Although the troubled Glenglassaugh distillery was revived in 2008, the distillery has some barrels lying around as it distilled between the reopening in 1960 and subsequent closure in 1986. Here, master blender Dr. Rachel Barrie opted for a single PX cask that holds 50 year old whiskey.
Nose: Fantastic velvety. A spice market in the Middle East. Cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, with a soft undertone of sandalwood incense.
Taste: Like most great old whiskeys, oak is robust but well managed. Ripe tropical fruits pop up, including papaya and jackfruit, also make room for raw peanuts, apricots and grilled corn.
Overall: Subtle and supple. 9
Singleton of Glen Ord 38 Years, $ 2,935, 49.6% ABV
Description: 8 barrels from the Glen Ord distillery were mixed together and then matured for another 26 years to create this older whiskey.
Nose: An intoxicating blend of malt, chocolate, leather, caramel, with a floral rose-like tinge that permeates throughout.
Taste: The peaches hit first, but are quickly subject to leather and serious mineral tones. A healthy serving of cookie dough has also been added.
Overall: This is stellar. 9
Singleton 54-year-old Paragon of Time II, $ 40,000, 44.1% ABV
Description: Whiskey from old European oak barrels was mixed together into a single PX barrel, with only 235 bottles available.
Nose: Brown sugar, peach, saffron, oranges and lots of oak. A really nice mix.
Taste: Own pulled back by the peaches, as well as cream and a few shots of espresso coffee.
Overall: The similarities between this and the 38 are pretty clear, though this has added more bitterness to it. 8.5
Previous reviews: May 2021, April 2021, March 2021