The Magical History of the Great Brora Distillery
      It is said that Bob Robertson, the distillery manager, tries to raise some money to re-start Brora. Only the spirit safe, the spirit receiver and the feints charger are missing. Alas, he fails to do so, and no miracle happens...
1987: United Distillers and Vintners now owns the two distilleries.
      The Scotch Malt Whisky Society unravels the first bottling of a Brora as a single ever. It’s the 61.1 12yo 1976/1989 (63.6%, twist cap). I have a bottle but sorry, I never tasted it.
    Gordon & MacPhail release the first 1972 Brora. Of course, it’s excellent, despite the fact that it’s not been matured at the distillery – and that it’s been caramelized chill-filtered and reduced to 40%, no need to say. The one bottled in 1993 is excellent too.
      United Distillers launch their stunning 1972’s ‘Rare Malts’ and the buzz really starts to grow, for they’re so big, so close to an Islayer, yet so different… Cadenhead’s release their first two young 1982’s, while Blackadder has one too. Conclusion, not all Broras are stunning, it appears. The aficionados learn that at Brora like in wine, vintages do matter!
      Gordon & MacPhail’s launch of their first 1982 proves that, in a certain sense, vintages really DO matter at Brora…
1998: UDV launches an excellent 21yo 1977 in its Rare Malts series.
    Both Signatory and Douglas Laing release their first bottlings of Brora. Both bottlers will then release dozens of casks. Some will be stellar, some will be okay, a few will be… err… not too good, but Brora definitely isn’t ‘just a malt for blenders’ anymore. Several other bottlers will hammer it in, including small ones such as Lombard’s.
    Again some new bottlers are in, such as… err, the Bottlers. Meanwhile, the people at the distillery tell our fellow malt maniac Krishna that they’re keeping a few casks (six, precisely) to celebrate the distillery’s bicentenary in 2019.
2001: Chieftains, Silver Seal are in:
    There are still a few casks left in the distillery – including the ones reserved for the bicentenary, not to mention quite a few other ones in other Diageo premises. But all casks are soon to be removed from the distillery, and Diageo then launches the first 'official bottling' of Brora with its own label ever, a 30yo. Very expensive, but 'very excellent'. Douglas Laing strikes back (or was it before?) with three stunning ‘Platinum’ bottlings, including a great 1970 (but the 1972’s are even better). Wilson & Morgan is in.
      Four new Platinums by Douglas Laing and a new, expensive release of the official 30yo. Will there be one every year?
      Lesser old ones from Douglas Laing, that releases almost only some 1982’s except a 34yo 1970: the oldest Brora ever! Diageo launches its third edition of the 30yo, which is just fantabulous whisky – even better than the first two editions - and now easily worth its high price. Gordon & MacPhail seems to have dried up, Signatory slows down (only two bottlings in 2004), and Cadenhead’s hasn’t released any Brora since 1997… Yet, Duncan Taylor is in with a 22yo bottling.
      It’s confirmed; Diageo will release a fourth batch of the 30yo later on this year. I had the opportunity to have a sip of it: it’s again a bit bolder and rougher than the 2004, but still a step above both the 1st and the 2nd editions, in my opinion. But what will the indies do? Do they still have some casks? Did Diageo buy everything that was available on the market? What’s sure is that the 30yo will be released again in the coming years, but for how long? Two years? Three years? Four? And will they manage to keep the high profile? What will happen when they’ll be left with the much less peated vintages? Will they manage to select only the odd peated casks? Will there be enough of those? Only the future will tell…
     And… maybe somebody will be strong enough to restart the distillery? There was some malt but the distillery had no name. Now it’s got a name – and a big one – but there isn’t much whisky left, except, I guess from 1982. Yeah, time to restart the Brora distillery!