Over 50 bottles of rare Brora whisky up for auction

Published 8th Apr 2021
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

Over 50 bottles from one of the most revered names in whisky, Brora, will go up for auction this month.

A legendary ghost distillery, Brora closed in 1983, and has remained a sought-after whisky for collectors and connoisseurs.

Now, Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer is to host the first ever dedicated Brora whisky auction, which is taking place from the 15 - 19 of April online.

Showcasing over 50 Brora bottles, as part of the largest collection of Brora ever to be held in one auction, it features rare expressions from the Old Clynelish distillery (now known as Brora) distilled prior to its brief closure in the late sixties.

Today, these rarities are celebrated for their highly idiosyncratic style and elusive waxy character that cannot be replicated in modern whiskies.

The sale will also feature various expressions from the historic 1972 Brora vintage, a chapter of whisky history all on its own.

These include the 1972 Cask Strength 40 Year Old decanter, the oldest Brora ever released at the time and a sibling to some of the most legendary expressions ever produced at the distillery.

Joe Wilson, head of auction content at Whisky Auctioneer, said: “Few distilleries manifest more allure than Brora, and certainly none so effortlessly. It’s therefore striking to see an auction dedicated to so many rare Brora bottles.

"Whether you are a whisky collector or lost distillery enthusiast, this is a one of a kind opportunity to get your hands on these special Brora bottles, many of which are rarely seen on the secondary market.

“The Brora auction encapsulates the distillery’s past as it prepares to turn on the stills to its future with the chance to bid on complete collections and rare Single Malts created prior to the distillery’s halt in production in 1983 - a timely reminder to revisit these legendary malts and that ‘lost distilleries' are not always lost forever.”

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“Few distilleries manifest more allure than Brora, and certainly none so effortlessly"

Emmanuel Dron, founder and co-owner of the Auld Alliance and author of ‘Collecting Scotch Whisky’ added: “Brora is a legendary malt, often talked about in whisky circles.

"Such a revered spirit and so hard to find, devotees from across the world have made visits especially to the Auld Alliance in Singapore simply to have the chance to try the exceptional spirit distilled at Brora.

“This auction allows whisky lovers and lost distillery enthusiasts to get a hold of some of these rare bottles, including even Scotch Malt Whisky Society's 61.1, the first ever bottling of Brora single malt.

"With the Brora auction following the announcement that the distillery is to be re-awakened, it provides an opportunity to honour its venerated past, while building excitement towards its future.“

Located in Sutherland, Brora distillery shares an intertwined history with Clynelish - a victim of its own success, the owners of the Clynelish distillery decided to build a secondary distillery next door due to its growing reputation.

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This modern distillery was to take the name Clynelish forward, and following a brief period where the distilleries were simply referred to as 'Clynelish A' and 'Clynelish B', the original distillery was renamed Brora in 1969.

Over the next few years, Brora produced a heavily-peated single malt, comparable to the whiskies of Islay. This mini era of production has become a storied part of the distillery's history, before they started reducing peat once again in 1973.

The auction comes at a time of reawakening for Brora, as the distillery and its operations are set to reopen this year.

Brora distillery was one of eleven distilleries that closed in the spring of 1983 following the ‘whisky loch’ crisis.

Despite closing, the distillery’s legend continued to live on, gaining a cult following of whisky lovers over the decades for its unique profile and strong character malts.

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A star lot is Bottle #1 of a 1978 Brora bottled at 41 years of age under Diageo’s Casks of Distinction programme. One of only 60 bottles in the world, this is the first time it will have ever appeared for sale.

Primarily composed of bottles from Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection, the largest private whiskey collection ever to come to market, the auction also features the complete collection of Brora bottled under the sought-after Rare Malts Selection and Special Releases.

Pat’s wider collection features the complete collection from both series, an impressive accomplishment totalling over 250 of the highly limited bottles.

To register to take part in the Exclusive Brora auction, visit the whisky auctioneer website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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