Brora

The distillery was founded under the Name Clynelish by the Duke of Sutherland in 1819. It closed in 1983, but started production again 38 years later after a major renovation by owner Diageo.

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Information about the Distillery
44 Bottles
Scotland, Highlands
-3.868132 58.024908
Active
Diageo
1819
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 21 Tasting Notes
i
Nosing
Fruit:
Sweet:
Coconut:
Malt:
Heather:
Caramel:
Honey:
Herbs:
Sherry:
Raisin:
Cake:
Cherry:
Peat Smoke:
Lemon:
Salt:
Maritime Notes:
Zitrus:
Vanilla:
Leather:
Lime:
Bonfire Smoke:
Herb:
Tasting
Sweet:
Peat Smoke:
Spices:
Fruit:
Chocolate:
Zitrus:
Orange:
Berries:
Nuts:
Caramel:
Oil:
Heather:
Vanilla:
Oak:
Herbs:
Herb:
Coffee:
Dark Chocolate:
Pepper:
Seaweed:
Cherry:
Grapefruit:
Tropical Fruit:
Maritime Notes:
Finish
Spices:
Sweet:
Chocolate:
Dark Chocolate:
Herb:
Coffee:
Heather:
Herbs:
Salt:
Fruit:
Oak:
Oil:
Cherry:
Maritime Notes:
Nuts:
Apple:
Pepper:
Ginger:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Due to the closing in 1983 the amount of Brora Whiskies is very limited. Today the most available bottles are vintages of the 70s and 80s with about 15 to 35 years of maturation. The distillery character is a lightly peated Highland Scotch. There are still quite a lot of independent bottlings of the distillery.

Brora used to supply the Blended Whisky industry but only for a short period of time. Since 2021, production at Brora has been running again after an extensive renovation. In the process, an attempt is being made to obtain a new make spirit that replicates the original distillate from before the closure. 

The Production

During the renovation in 2021, some of the original production items were refurbished, others had to be replaced completely. The water for production comes from the burn that flows directly past the distillery. Brora is not a Gaelic name but a Scandinavian one from the Vikings and means as much as 'the bridge over the water' - based on the bridge at the distillery site. 

The malt for Brora Whiskies comes from malt houses in the south of Scotland. At the partner distillery Clynelish, non-peated Whisky is produced, whereas at Brora there is some smoke in the nevertheless fruity new make spirit. The mash tun is still the old cast iron one from the original distillery. They only had to repair a few spots and replace the lid. The washbacks are a different story: the old wooden fermentation vats dried out over time and started to leak. So brand new washbacks were built for the reopening. 

Kiln at Brora
Kiln at Brora

The Pot Stills

Brora's former stills are still in place and can now be reused for distillation after refurbishment. The wash still and the spirit still are both the same size. They have a volume of 13,500 litres. Both stills have a reflux bowl. Brora's former stills are still in place and can now be reused for distillation after refurbishment. The fact that the old pot stills can still be operated has the advantage that the former new make spirit can be produced more easily. In the Diageo archive, there are still bottles with the old new make, so that the new one can be adjusted to taste exactly like the original. 

The Warehouse

The warehouses of the Brora Distillery.The warehouses are all flat dunnages with heavy bricked walls, which is typical for the slow maturing Scotch Whisky.

Brora burn and warehouses
Brora burn and warehouses

History

The distillery was founded under the Name Clynelish by the Duke of Sutherland in 1819. In 1967 the new Clynelish distillery was built, and the old Clynelish was renamed to Brora distillery. In 1983 Brora was closed and the only things that were still used were the warehouses. Since May 2021, Whisky spirit has once again been flowing through the (original, mind you!) stills of Brora, after the owner Diageo invested in a comprehensive renovation.

The Visitor Centre

You can visit the distillery via the Clynelish distillery.

Visitor information

Brora Distillery (Clynelish Distillery)
Brora
Sutherland
KW9 6LR
Tel: +44 (0)1408-623000
clynelish.distillery@remove-this.diageo.com 

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