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Octomore Orpheus 5 Year Old Edition 2.2

The Velvet Glove

2 797

@VictorReview by @Victor

15th Jan 2013


Octomore Orpheus 5 Year Old Edition 2.2
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Bruichladdich's Octomore Orpheus 2.2 was finished using Chateau Petrus wine casks. The phenol count is 140 ppm. The whisky is 5 years old. 15,000 bottles were released in 2010. The reviewed bottle has been open for 5 months, and is 50% full

This review is in a non-time-sequential format (SQVH). For further reference on this format see my review of Royal Canadian Small Batch

Strength: strong peat flavours with mild accompanying smoke, strong wine flavours, plenty of vanilla from the oak, a nice measured touch of salt, and ample support from that lovely underlying high quality Bruichladdich barley-malt. Nothing here is in excess and nothing is lacking in the strength of the individual flavours Score 24/25

Quality: the Chateau Petrus wine flavours are superlative--rich, broad, and sweet, while retaining a beautiful focus and pointedness. The peat is astonishingly soft, sweet, gentle, and beautiful, despite its high concentration. Smoke is present, but is remarkably discreet and gentle. Jim Murray said it perfectly when he said that tasting this is "...like jumping into a bed of feathers." This whisky is astonishing, rare, gentle, beautiful, and incredibly rich. The underlying barley-malt flavours are top-notch as well. Octomore Orpheus definitively gives the lie to the idea that a Scottish malt whisky must be considered "young" at five years old. There aren't many 20 yo Scottish malts as "old"/mature as is Octomore Orpheus 2.2. Score 25/25

Variety: the nose, taste buds, and mind have much to marvel at as they behold the astonishing peat, beautiful wine, and lovely underlying barley-malt base. When I taste this my mind races back and forth from how excellent each of these components is. Score 24/25

Harmony: the parts are spectacular as individual components, but the experience of beholding them together is every bit as beautiful and spell-binding. The harmony of the parts is magnificent. A 97 score requires and symbolises for me a transcendent whisky experience. Bruichladdich Octomore Orpheus 2.2 delivers that experience to me every time I take a sip of it. For me there isn't much whisky made anywhere in the world which is as good as this is. Score 24/25

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Dramlette commented

Poetic review @Victor...you damn well better save me a few drams! As a matter of fact, I am headed to the bottle now...outta my way!

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

UisgeJon commented

Wow. What a remarkable review. For now, being fairly new on the scene, my reviews may be a tad excitable considering my lack of a deep foundation. With time, it's possible I will reevaluate my previous reviews and adjust scores on a bit of a curve.

When someone such as yourself gives such a sterling recommendation, I take it highly. Thank you for this review! It was a pleasure to enjoy.

11 years ago 0

numen commented

@Jonhelmkamp, it's a fabulous dram. I was fortunate enough to try some (from and with @Victor, no less), and it's really stunning. Victor sums up the experience very well. For the peat-levels here, it's remarkably soft and beautiful. I picked up some 'rose'/floral notes, but it's probably something of that Petrus and feather-bed.

11 years ago 0

Wills commented

Indeed a real badass review as this whisky deserves - great job Gene. Why has this to be so expensive ;(

11 years ago 0

achen commented

Hi mate, I know it's been a while but just wondering if by any chance you purchased the full bottle and was wondering if you held on to the bottle and case?

9 years ago 0

Victor commented

@OlJas, very interesting. Thanks for the tip!

There are some whiskies that you at first like, but which grow mightily on you with exposure. Octomore 2.2 Orpheus is one of those for me. @dbk gave me a sample of 2.2 from his bottle in early 2011, and that sample just burned a hole in my head. It made a huge impression. I couldn't believe it when I saw an available bottle in 2012 and snatched it up. The bottle never disappointed me, and pretty much every time I took a sip I involuntarily exclaimed "Oh my God!". Finishing that bottle has left me with a huge sense of loss, something only a very few whiskies do.

@achen,..."I know it's been awhile"--19 months since your post. I am very sorry I didn't see it at the time. Yes, I did keep both the bottle and tin for Octomore Orpheus 2.2. The tin is probably the wildest whisky tin I have seen in a bright fluorescent red(-orange); the black bottle is just about the slickest whisky bottle I have seen. These souvenirs stir up powerful pleasant memories.

8 years ago 0

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