Last night was one for friends, family and drams.
Starting off the year with a bang, we’ll take this weekend to review some really special drams, then return to the independent bottler’s Laphroaig series.
Before becoming Diageo, United Distillers launched the Rare Malts Selection (RMS) in 1995. Bottlings under this series went on for 10 years, until 2005, but the process of discontinuation began in 2001 with the first Diageo Annual Special Releases. Most of the RMS releases are small batches and not single casks, thus Diageo looked for 3-10 casks of similar character before selecting them for a release. Current count has 133 releases in the series, and for a full listing of them and other interesting facts you can go to Ulf Buxrud’s site, who also wrote a book on this fascinating series.
Many of the bottles are still in shops and in auction, and most have kept up with Diageo’s special release pricing, but here and there you can find a gem for a decent price. There’s one bottle in this series I’m really dying to taste, the 21 Year Old Coleburn (1979-2000) which has so far eluded me, but maybe 2015 is the year in which I catch up with a sample of it….
Brora 24 – Rare Malts Selection, Distilled 1977, Bottled 2001 (56.1% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold with decisive and quick thin legs.
Nose: Rubbery, some spice, waxy wood spice, honey and something rather light and perfume with whiffs of very light peat.
Palate: Some mouth drying bitterness, light peat and citrus. There’s some light honey sweetness and a tang of spicy sharpness. This whisky is very full bodied.
Linger: Some spice remains at the back of the throat with dryness on the inside of the cheeks.
This is my third Rare Malts Brora (Alongside the 20 and the 22). It’s not as crisp as the 22 and is less vegetal than the 20 but is also somewhat less complex than it.
But a cracker of a dram it is. I love its slight bitterness, which is its signature.
Thank you Mr. O. for sharing!!