The Magical History of the Great Brora Distillery
    The old distillery starts distilling again in April, the output’s average profile being decreasingly peaty. The malt is now referred to as ‘Brora’, to fulfil H.M. Customs & Excise’s demand. It is decided that all the maturing casks from the old distillery distilled from 1969 on are to be renamed Brora (and possibly re-stencilled). Another version that I would not eliminate yet, is that the Customs & Excise asked for separate names already in 1969, and that the malt from the old distillery was subsequently stencilled as ‘Brora’ right from 1969 on. That would mean that the trade was used to use the names ‘Clynelish A’ and ‘Clynelish B’ indeed, but that the casks were in fact properly stencilled as ‘Clynelish’ and ‘Brora’.
The Broras 1975 bottled at 20yo in the Rare Malts Series are now markedly less peaty than the 1972’s and a bit in the Caol Ila genre, although a version at 61.75% bottled in some 20cl packs (together with a Glendullan, a Dailuaine, a Caol Ila and a Teaninich) is a genuine peat monster (92 points). Douglas Laing also issued a 1975/2001 in their low-key ‘McGibbons Provenance’ series, and which I haven’t tasted yet.
(Correction: the version at 51.1% was actually bottled at 59.1% - thanks Ulf)
      Little production, it appears. There has been a ‘McGibbons Provenance’ again, bottled in 2002, and the first Brora by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society ever, a 12yo 1976/1989 (63.6%). I never tasted any of these, which are the only 1976’s I know of.
1976 (last use of the old white label) 1976
      A big year at Brora, it appears. Some malts are very peaty again and of very good quality, like both the 21 and the 24yo from the Rare Malts series (92 points each). There’s also been a 26yo 1977/2003 (54.90%, Platinum series, 228 bottles) by the Laings, and a whole bunch of bottlings by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (#3, 5, 12, 14, 15…) or the Brora 26yo 1977/2003 (51.3%, Whisky Magazine for Japan, cask 529, 187 bottles) done by the SMWS. All are quite sweet, smoky and peppery, but not extremely peated.
(Correction: the 21yo was actually bottled in 1998, not 1978 of course - thanks Ulf)
      The peating levels seem to decrease a lot, maybe because the new and gigantic Caol Ila is working at full steam on Islay since four years, providing the blenders with enough peated malt to meet the demand. Brora now uses the same, lightly peated malt as Clynelish, but I could taste several 1981’s or even 1983’s that were quite heavily peated, which might prove that they used different kinds of peat level, depending on what was required at this or that time. I’ve seen very little Broras from 1978, except from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society again (#2, 6, 13, 20, 22). All seem to be very lightly peated and smoky.
1979: I never saw any Brora from 1979.
  Only a few bottlings have been available: two 23yo by Dun Bheagan, casks 821 and 824, that seem both OK, one by Dun Bheagan for le Clan des Grands Malts, cask #823, that was quite peaty and very good, and one by Celtic Cross for Japan (issued in 2002) that I never saw, alas.