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The cornerstone of the world's most sold whisky

Driving north from Inverness, you come to the small coastal town of Brora, known especially for its two distilleries, Clynelish and Brora. The last one closed 30 years ago but is on track to reopen by the end of 2020.

Clynelish was founded in 1819 by the Marquis of Stafford who, after marrying into the Sutherland family was the first duke of Sutherland. The distillery was originally built in order to remove a part of the illegal liquor, which was hjemmebrændt at the time. You must keep in mind that many of the dead and was blind of hjemmebrændt spirits at the time. But it was difficult, for the whisky produced at Clynelish, was in a poor quality and thus difficult to sell. Why buy bad, expensive whiskey when you could get a cheaper, which tasted just as bad? So you therefore chose to sell to John Matheson in 1826. He got the hang of production and sold in 1896 to James Ainslie & Heilbron, a Glasgow-based blendingfirma. At this time was the Clynelish recognized among the very best single malt whiskies, and Harper Wine & Spirits, wrote in 1896 that Clynelish was the most expensive single malt, and virtually all of the production went to single malts.

Later, in 1916, was John Walker eye at the distillery and began to use it in its blends. And so it was a cornerstone of the Johnnie Walker's many different blends. The distillery was renovated in the early 1900s and continued until 1931, when it briefly was closed for eight years.

In 1967, work began on the construction of a new distillery, as it was called Clynelish 2, located just across the road from the original Clynelish. The reason for the new distillery was, in particular, the need for more smoky whisky, as there were water issues on Islay, where a large part of the smoked whiskey came from Caol Ila.

The new distillery was completed a year later and the former Clynelish-the distillery was renamed Brora in 1969. The name derives from the old norse language, where ‘U’r aa’ means ‘bridge river’.

In 1983 decided the owners, Scottish Malt Distillers to close the Brora and continue Clynelish as a significant piece of the particular Johnnie Walker Gold Label. Brora was only 15 years old, before the man closed it. But in 2017 decided Diageo, however, to re-open Brora, as the p.t. is in progress with a major renovation and will open by the end of 2020.

It is Dr. Beveridge, as is the masterblender, and who has been behind Johnnie Walker in 40 years now; and it is well known that he particularly appreciates the Clynelish and Talisker as the main elements of the better blends.

There are used solely scottish malt, and water come from Clynemilton Byrne. It runs through one part peat on the road, which makes that you well can sense a bit of smoke, especially in the aroma, though malt is entirely without peat.

the Distillery has a 12.5 tonnes mæskningskar, 10 gæringskar primarily made of wood. Three kedelsæt with views down to the Brora town and the North sea. In addition, with a spirit kettle with a greater volume than the wash boiler, which is very unusual.

In 2002, microsoft released the Clynelish its first official single malt, which was a 14-year. Was last there in 2010 launched a 12-years as a part of the series ‘Friends of the Classic Malts’. Today is the 14-year and Destillers Edition only permanent single malts, the rest goes into Johnnie Walker.

In connection with the opening of Brora is a new visitor center under construction.

46% | Diageo | 389 kr.

Light, with notes of heather and beeswax in the scent. The taste of honey and malt. Nice balance and wrapped in a medium-full-bodied, oiled mundfølelse. 90

48% | Diageo | ca. 600 kr. can only be purchased at the distillery

aged in bourbon casks. Lots of vanilla and citrus in the taste. Young in the term, and the high alcohol can be sensed. An exciting and intense experience. 91

46% | approx. 1500 kr.

Single hogshead bourbon cask bottling. Light and very soft and elegant. White pepper and salty notes in the aroma. A bit of smoke, pepper, spices and vanilla in the taste. Dry and neat finish. 94

Brora distillery opened in 1969 with a focus on smoked whiskey. However, it was closed again in 1983. By the end of 2020 reopen the distillery after a major refurbishment. But one should not expect to be able to sample the new drops from Brora before 2030.

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