Brora Single Malt Whisky
Brora Distillery, initially named Clynelish, was built by the Marquis of Stafford in 1819. He later became the infamous Duke of Sutherland who enacted the devastating Highland Clearances – a practice during which huge populations of tenants were forcibly evicted from their properties during the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of these relocated workers were to man the Duke’s newly built distillery.
The distillery – still named Clynelish – passed through several owners between 1846 and 1930, at which point DCL and John Walker & Sons took complete control, and Brora cemented itself as a key filling in the company’s blends. It was joined, and ultimately superseded by, ‘Clynelish 2’ as production was increased to meet demand, and finally renamed as Brora in 1975. It fell silent in 1980 and was thought to remain so, until Diageo announced exciting plans to reopen Brora (and also Port Ellen) in 2017. The rare single malt bottlings currently available hail from the distillery’s swan song years in the late 1970s and 80s, and are characterised by an oily, almost waxy texture, with mineral and marine flavours, and a lemony acidity. There is an annual release in Diageo’s Special Release collection, and Brora enjoys an undeniable cult status.