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Octomore 5 Year Old Edition 06.1 Scottish Barley

Lovecraft and E.A. Poe on a pub crawl

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@tastydramReview by @tastydram

9th May 2014

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
    89

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Octomore is an experimental Bruichladdich. Every year they present this limited edition heavily peated whisky in iconic black bottles. The two latest batches were boasting a phenol level of 167 ppm.

Edition number 6 is the first one that carries the new tag line “Scottish Barley”. It exists of three different expressions: the standard 6.1 batch matured in ex-bourbon casks. The 6.2 matured in former cognac casks made from Limousin oak and is destined for Travel Retail. And lastly a 6.3 Islay barley batch that has not yet been bottled.

Tasting notes

Color: A light yellow colour with a thin golden rim. A heap of straw in the spring sunlight. The whisky sticks to your glass like other (young) Bruichladdichs. It is deliciously thick, fat and slow.

Nose: Let's start with an understatement. The peat smoke is everywhere. Not that you would expect anything else from a malt presenting itself as “Super Heavily Peated”. And yet, this Octomore is surprisingly soft on the nose. And instantly, almost Lagavullian, recognizable.

A power nap reveals its fruity and salty qualities. Ripe prunes and cherries. A sea breeze over a rocky beach. Lapsang Souchong sweetened with honey. And a visit to your local cheese shop. You cannot decide which blue cheese you want to taste: Shropshire, Roquefort, Gorgonzola. They all smell and look delicious.

Taste: The peaty tempest rages on in the mouth. Once things get a little quieter, you'll discover a fruity sweetness. Mainly prunes and juicy red apples. The flavours are nicely complemented by loafs of bread. Rye bread and nut bread.

Water transforms this peaty beast into a delicious oatmeal porridge, sweetened with vanilla sugar.

Finish: The finish is quite long, dry and a little sweet. Crispy bacon served with a honey sauce.

Conclusion: Octomore has a reputation to maintain and lives up to it. This is no whisky for starters. If you aren't fond of Ardbeg, steer clear of Octo! This slightly brutal youngster is a real treat for peat lovers. Young aggressive and still refined enough. Lovely complex.

This is yet another whisky that could convince me to break through my psychological € 100 barrier. You easily spot the black metal tubes at specialist liquor stores. Prices vary somewhere between € 115 and € 125.

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4 comments

@Onibubba
Onibubba commented

Nice review! Will definately search for the rye and cheese notes next time I open a bottle. Mine are different versions, but I gather they are roughly the same beast!

Thanks for mentioning the price point. This was a tough barrier for me to get past as well. I know that people here have differing opinions on age, but I can get behind older whisky carrying a significantly higher price point - it has been an investment in the waiting for 20+ years. I have come around to agreeing that younger cask strength is the way to go for peated whisky if you feel a bit masochistic about your peat (and really, who doesn't every now and again), but I still have a hard time justifying over $100.00 for something aged less than 10 years. Well, one taste of this changed my mind. I wouldn't buy it often, but I'd hate not having one in reserve.

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I had a taste of the 6.1 in Toronto last Saturday. A nice Big Flavours Whisky, like its siblings!

Pricey? Definitely. But you probably don't roar through a bottle in a week, either. (Well, maybe @Nock does...or would like to.)

5 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I liked it when I tasted it in Toronto as well. Good quality dram. Won't be buying it because it's not available here, but even in Calgary it's pricy.

5 years ago 0

@tastydram
tastydram commented

I've read somewhere ("102 myths on whisky" by Robin Brilleman) that to attain this sort of peatyness they (Bruichladdich) have to bottle it at 5yo. Everything older will be more 'normal' due to cask influence. And the cask strength aspect plays a role in it too ofcourse.

5 years ago 0

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