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I've read lots of great reviews on Octomore and now that I have one in captivity must report that you are all...absolutely right. As if the bottle isn't exciting enough. It's a work of art and feels very special.
I expected to be over powered with smoke and have my taste buds overwhelmed with the golden spirit but was amazed by what is really a gentle, but sophisticated, giant of a malt. The smoke is subtle but very definite but not in a Laphroaig way.
The nose is Smokey caramel and toasted almonds in sticky toffee. There is a tang of new patent leather shoes and then it dissolves to over ripe mandarins and plums. I made notes during several 'visits' over a few days and found the nose just became richer and warmer each time. It's so complex I could almost carve the various elements and enjoy them individually.
The palate was the big surprise. It's big up front and very rich with warm leather and beautiful smoke. I imagined burnt salty driftwood. It fills the mouth with flavour and it's like the sensation from sherbet or the space food you buy at Woollies when you're a kid. A sudden intense burst that slowly dissolves to an unexpected sweetness. Spicy lemon butter, currants and poached strawberries in Cointreau.
The next day....I could still taste a little smoke and it was a pleasant reminder of this absolutely stunning Whisky. The bottle was sent down under from the UK and arrived 3 days after the order was placed - eWhisky!