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It's saturday night and it's been a while since I wrote a review. I want to indulge my self with something good and I remember that I recently got a sample of Octomore 7.3, thanks to Cricklewood. Since I have a bottle of Octomore 6.3, I thought it would be interesting to compare these two Scotch made with Barley from the same Lorgba field close to the western shore of Loch Indaal. Of course there is a few minor difference between the two: the 6.3 is aged in Bourbon barrel only while the 7.3 is finished in Spanish wine casks of Ribera Del Duero; the other difference is that the 6.3 has a 258 ppm peat while the 7.3 reach only 169 ppm (I said "only" to get your attention and to make you smile). Talking of smile, I can predict that I will have a big one as soon as I start this tasting. So let starts.
A lot of vanilla, but a good one with a very simple mint. then the obvious peat, salt and rubber with lemon, a hint of orange and herbs. With air, it is way more brinny and I have a light caramel with some plastic. With just a few drops of water, the mint is leaving some room to let some cereals interplay with the vanilla and peat. It offers a better balance. (23/25)
Sweet and sour (like a sour yellow plum with cardamone). Then Hazelnut cream spirit, contact glue, mint, peat, smoke, cereal like dry Shredded Wheat and the same herbs as 7.3. With air the sour note et the glue disappeared to allow the mint to grow and offered also a whiff of salty caramel chocolate. It is as if somebody would have pour a few drops of Ben Nevis in a classic Islay Scotch. (23/25)
First a simple and classic Islay but with a load of sugar. Then herbs, salt and an aggressive wine cask. Small sips make it better and allow me to taste the hint of chocolate with the low bass note of smoke. With water, the wine notes are better and it is more balance. I have a nice ashy peat with very good mineral notes like the best batches of Big Peat. (23/25)
The mouthfeel is rich and thick. It is also more spicy (5 spices) than the 7.3. The chocolate peat presents heavy ashes with a terrific mineral flavor. Wow! I didn't the heart to add water to it. (24/25)
Not as long as expected, the finish is of good quality and more classic than the 6.3, but there is a bitter note at the end that really surprised us with the ton of sugar of Octomore. With water the heavy smoke notes are more in front and last longer.(22/25)
Salt, Peat and Smoke for the Eternity with the mint as canvas to enhance all the flavors. Wow! (24/25)
7.3 (22/25) Minus 1 for the little bitter note. 6.3 (23/25)
Octomore 7.3 is an excellent Classic Islay with the typical sugar of Octomore. At first glance, the nose of it is even better than the nose of the 6.3 specialy in a Head to Head when the sour side of the 6.3 will be almost wrongly magnified by the comparison. That being said, when we get accustom to the nose of the 6.3, this Scotch will grow on you and occupied all the space being the lord of the land you walk on. This is not the most noble Scotch you will have, this is a monster. With is big sugar and smoke, it is one that shows the child side of any peathead, a child who has been picking in God's candy jar.
7.3 (90/100) 6.3 (94/100)