Whisky Focus - Brora Triptych Elusive Legacy, Age of Peat and Timeless Original

Brora Triptych Elusive Legacy, Age of Peat and Timeless Original


7th April 2021
Brora Triptych, a rare set of three single malts released to mark the restoration of the small Highland distillery, each of the bottles in the set represents one of Brora's distinct styles.

Brora Triptych Elusive Legacy, Age of Peat and Timeless Original

Restoration of the Brora distillery which we all thought closed for good back in 1983 when the distillery fell silent is set to be completed in mid-May 2021.

The small Highland distillery acquired itself a somewhat iconic status amongst whisky connoisseurs and collectors during it 38 years of closure and to mark its return I am sure those same whisky connoisseurs and collectors will be pleased to hear that owners Diageo today revealed a one-off special release of a set of three rare Brora Single Malt whiskies, Brora Triptych, with each whisky in the three bottle set representing a distinct style of Brora’s proud and storied heritage.

The first in the Brora Triptych set is the Brora Triptych Elusive Legacy 48 Year Old 1972 vintage, the oldest ever public release from the distillery. Said to be a very rare style from casks of 1972, this whisky represents an earthy expression of Brora, much sought after as it was only created in short periods throughout the distillery’s history. Warm chestnut in colour, there is a delicate aroma which blends wood spice with hints of peach tarte tatin, amidst a powerful rich maltiness.

The second in the set is the Brora Triptych Age of Peat 43 Year Old 1977 vintage, a heavily peated expression drawn from casks of 1977. This is a classic Brora style from the late 70’s, and one of the only examples of a highly-peated Highland whisky from that era. The few casks that were left from this phase are said to have matured remarkably well and the whisky is multi-layered and complex. Intensely deep and golden, this expression is elegant on the nose with creamy vanilla invigorated by freshly cut green apples and hints of beeswax, before a long, sweet finish of peat-fired smokiness.

Completing the set is the Brora Triptych Timeless Original 38 Year Old 1982 vintage, this has come from limited stocks of 1982 and is said to represent the distinct waxiness that made Brora famous. This more modern and refined style returns to lower peating levels, reflective of Brora whisky before the Age of Peat. Glowing yellow gold in hue, sherberty lemon peel, and a touch of fresh green grass dance on the nose.

The three-piece Brora Triptych whisky set is intended to be appreciated together, a showcase of the distillery’s most famous three styles selected by Master Blender Dr. Craig Wilson iwho comments, "These are some of our very last precious relics from a Brora of bygone age. Each one represents a moment in time at the distillery and tasting these superb whiskies is to be part of a special moment in history. When selecting the casks for these rare bottlings, we wanted to celebrate those distinct characteristics that define Brora, and those that we seek to uphold as we begin a new chapter in its story."

Each collectible set of the Brora Triptych will be accompanied by a personal invitation from Brora’s Master Distiller Stewart Bowman to visit and experience Brora first-hand. Born in the town of Brora and with a long family connection to the distillery, Bowman worked alongside a host of artisans, whisky-makers and archivists in the restoration of the distillery buildings and its whisky and will carefully oversee the creation of new Brora spirit upon its return.

Stewart comments, "The stories of Brora are woven into my own history and I am honoured to soon be able to share these stories with others. My father was an ‘old hand’ at the distillery, and I grew up in the village with the top of the distillery’s bell-tower visible from our kitchen window. In the years after Brora’s closure, I remember my father showing me the old cask ledgers and the records of those final casks distilled in 1983 and asking if Brora would return one day. It fills me with great pride that thirty-eight years after the doors of Brora closed, more casks will now be filled, and we will be able to welcome people once again to this special place. It is our commitment that we will do justice to the Brora of old and hope to welcome visitors to our restored home as soon as that is possible. In the Brora Triptych, we aimed to celebrate the great whisky styles of the past for which Brora is known."

All three of the Brora Triptych Single Malt whiskies are presented in a single presentation case, inspired by Brora’s surrounding coastlines. Each crystal bottle is completed with Glencairn crystal stoppers, and the cabinet, built from ash wood all sourced in the UK, was crafted by Master Cabinetmaker and Royal Warrant Holder N. E. J. Stevenson.

All three bottles in the Brora Triptych set are 50cl and as I am sure you can guess you will need deep pockets to get hold of a set with a RRP of £30,000, the set will be available from mid-May 2021 from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt
 

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