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Okay, time for the more serious peatjob. This Octomore (my first!), which is distilled at Bruichladdich (the plans to rebuild the Octomore distillery have been postponed until further notice), is only 5 years old and finished on (expensive!) Chateau Pétrus wine casks – which explains the somewhat salmon sheen in the color. It is a heavily peated beast of no less than 140ppm. That is pretty amazing. Add to that the high ABV and I think I will keep a bottle of water handy when tackling this one.
Oh my, I have only just poured the dram and already the whole room is starting to smell of peat, stable and tar. But when I slide the glass over the remnants of my Movember moustache I get a completely different profile. Sweet berries and sugared cornflakes. The two extremes are so incompatible, you would not believe it. And still… it works! What a wonderful heretic of a nose! Adding water weakens the wine influence. I am sure that is not the intention.
I was afraid my mouth would explode with this ABV, but my fear was unwarranted. Sipping carefully never hurts, though. What a harmonious taste! The wine is obviously present in the form of sweet berries and Cointreau and is perfectly countered by the peat smoke and tar. Adding water makes it more smoky, spicy and sweeter and frankly simply superb.
The finish is very long on spices, sugared tangerines and smoke.
Well, I did not know what to expect, but my first date with Octomore was a very pleasant one. At the moment of release – in 2009 – this was the most heavily peated dram on the market. That honor currently is bestowed upon the Octomore Ochdamh-more 04.1/4_167 with a whopping 167ppm, released in June 2011. This Orpheus will set you back approximately 100 EUR. But you sure get bang for your buck.