Whisky Magazine Issue 104
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The stills may be silent but it is back in the WMI, Jonny McCormick celebrates
Brora is greatly treasured as a single malt by collectors and always generates healthy debate among whisky aficionados about the variety of whisky styles created during different periods of distilling.
Although the distillery closed nearly 30 years ago, this cult Highland malt whisky is back in the WMI after an absence of 15 months. The last few years have seen many of the independent bottlers from Signatory to the SMWS reportedly run out of stock, which has sharpened collectors' attention on the reality that new releases are becoming very scarce. Official releases have appeared annually over the past decade, but last year's highly regarded Brora 32 Years Old from Diageo (Editor's Choice, WM Issue 100) was restricted to only 1,500 bottles, half the number of the earlier releases, fuelling theories that even their stock is running low.
One can speculate on who is paying the high prices for Brora; it may be retailers, Brora fanatics or Rare Malts Selection completists. Certainly, the early Brora Rare Malts Selection releases have greatly appreciated in value whereas the Brora 30 Years Old releases have not shown a particularly impressive uplift in value to date compared with the Port Ellen annual releases.
At auction, Brora holds a higher average price than Port Ellen, Dalmore or Ardbeg but it may take the inescapable conclusion of the annual releases before we see the interest in these bottlings reach their full potential.
March significantly upped the tem...