I first tried this malt at the distillery! When we visited Islay in September 2017, we were seduced into trying this one, for the simple fact that some Spanish Ribera del Duero wine casks were involved. Today, I get to try it again at my leisure.
Well, the nose is quite something else. Sure, the typical Octomore traits shine through, but this is upholstered with lots of hazelnuts, Werther’s Original, nougat, olive oil, hint of dates, burnt hay and fresh tobacco leaves. Add some sandwhich dough, a bit of mint and sea salt and Jar Jar Binks would say ‘mesa like theez’.
You can almost chew this malt, it’s that creamy. The smokiness comes first – quite big – followed by a lot of vegetal elements such as roots, hay, wood. Then some sweetness appears as if from blueberries, barley sugar, caramel, corn on the cob and charcoal. Mildly spicy on ginger and liquorice. Tannins kick in, making it dry.
The finish is long and smoky, but a touch sharp, bitter and dry. The tannins become quite loud.
Less good than I remembered, which proves that the emotion of the moment is an important factor. Thanks for the sample, Timon.