Why does this rare set of single malt whiskies cost almost S$50,000?
Launched to mark the eagerly awaited completion of the ghost distillery’s restoration, the Brora Triptych set offers three very rare whiskies that represent the distinct styles from different eras in Brora’s history.
The finishing touches are being applied to Brora, a (soon-to-be former) ghost distillery in the Scottish Highlands. Since 2017, Brora, which shut its doors in 1983, has been undergoing extensive restoration work by Diageo, the drinks giant that owns the distillery.
From mid-May, following its completion, the distillery will launch a one-off release of three extremely rare single malt whiskies to celebrate its return. Named the Brora Triptych, the three-bottle whisky set showcases the distillery’s three most famous styles; old spirits that capture the expressions of bygone eras. It will retail at S$49, 000.
The first in the set is the Elusive Legacy, a 48 Year Old elixir taken from the casks of 1972. The whisky, which offers a rich, earthy profile of wood, spice, pear, and peach tarte tartin, belongs to a very rare style that was available in brief periods throughout the distillery’s history.
The Age of Peat, the second in the trio, is a 43 Year Old drawn from the casks of 1977. As its namesake suggests, the whisky is very peaty – a rare example of a very peated Highland dram from that era – and represents an iconic Brora expression from the late 70s. Expect notes of vanilla, green apples, guava, and beeswax providing a fruity, complex counterpoint to its powerful, peaty finish.
The last bottle is the Timeless Original, a 38 Year Old bottled from limited stocks of 1982. Here, the waxy style marks a return to the period before the Age of Peat, where whisky makers showed more restraint with the peat flavour. The spirit flaunts a yellow-gold hue, fruity notes, and scents of lemon and freshly-cut green grass.
For collectors, the Brora Triptych is one that would sit handsomely on their shelves: Each 500ml crystal bottle comes with Glencairn crystal stoppers, while the cabinet is made from ash wood and crafted by N.E.J. Stevenson, a master cabinetmaker and Royal Warrant Holder.
The set is also accompanied by a personal invitation from Stewart Bowman, Brora’s master distiller, to visit the restored distillery. Bowman, a Brora native who grew up in the village with the distillery’s belltower visible from his kitchen window, worked with a team of whisky makers and archivists during the restoration. He will also oversee the production of the new Brora whiskies once the new stills are fired up.
“The stories of Brora are woven into my own history, and I am honoured to soon be able to share these stories with others,” said Bowman. “My father was an old hand at the distillery. In the years after Brora’s closure, I remember [him] 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 38 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.”
The Brora Triptych is available from Diageo Rare and Exceptional Singapore. Email PrivateClientSG [at] Diageo.com