Whisky Focus - Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Edition

Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Edition


16th August 2019
A year ahead of the Brora distillery reopening Diageo has released a limited edition Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Edition Single Malt whisky which they have bottled to commemorate two centuries since distilling began in the now iconic distillery.

Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Edition

Diageo has unveiled a limited edition Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Edition Single Malt whisky which they have bottled to commemorate two centuries since distilling began in the now iconic distillery. Reflecting the year the Brora distillery opened, there are 1,819 bottles of the Brora 40 year old available. The whisky has been drawn from 12 casks of vintage stocks from 1978 and is said to offer a rare glimpse into a golden era of Brora’s past.

As I am sure you will all know by now, Brora’s gates are scheduled to reopen next year, after some 36 years of the distillery being quiet. Diageo has been meticulous in the current restoration of Brora which is underway to bring the legendary whisky house back to life brick-by-brick. To welcome this new era and celebrate the past craftsmen that made Brora over its 200-year history, comes this new release 40-year-old expression. Diageo Master Blender Dr Craig Wilson has selected just 12 American oak hogshead casks from Brora’s vintage stocks to celebrate a moment of the distillery’s history: The Age of Peat.

In searching for the casks for this release, Dr Wilson worked alongside the Diageo Archive Team that had unearthed original Brora production records as part of their ongoing work to assist in the distillery restoration. This allowed the master blender to identify the years at which this now revered smoky style of Brora was at its peak, and following careful nosing of the individual casks, Dr Wilson made his selection: a 1978 40 year old Single Malt  which they describe as having immense complexity that perfectly reflects this moment of Brora’s past.

Dr Craig Wilson Diageo Master Blender commented: "Of all the stories of Brora, there is one that seemed particularly fitting to tell on its 200th Anniversary. From 1969-83, there was a new experimentation phase in production and the Brora distillers created a smoky malt used heavily-peated Northern Highland barley. Used primarily in blends at the time, the few casks that are left from this Age of Peat, matured remarkably well and what remains is a multi-layered and complex Single Malt of astonishing quality. Little did the craftsmen at the time know, they had created a masterpiece. It is emblematic of the varied past of the distillery that makes it so special to all that know it: a humble story of experimentation, craft and happy coincidence."

Being the first official bottling of Brora since it bowed out of the Diageo Special Release line up back in 2017 I would expect this to be sought after by whisky connoisseurs and collectors. The Brora 40 Year Old is presented in a deep burgundy velvet display case, the bottle is adorned with the Brora emblem of the Scottish Wild Cat – the crest of the distillery’s founder, the Duke of Sutherland.

The Brora 40 Year Old 200th anniversary limited edition has been bottled at 49.2% ABV and has a price tag of £4,500 a bottle, you will soon find it available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt
 

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