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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.
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.