Dram Review: Octomore Edition 02.2 Orpheus

[61.0%・5 Years Old・Bottled Circa 2010・Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Immediately immersive, instantly transforming the setting to a cowshed with a peat fueled campfire burning away in the background.  There is a certain milkiness to it, and a certain madness as well, black forest cake splashed with tar and ink.  Oak splinters, pepper and coal smoke working over time, ferocious but pairing so bloody well with lighter tones of red fruits and dark toffee.  Purely exciting.

Palate & Finish:

An instant gratification with how the peat interacts with the sultana and molasses.  The fiery sensation builds up but at no point becomes punishing.  A rewarding journey as the peat keeps on giving, bringing along some of the more delicate characters that tend to be lost in recent renditions.  It’s mightily enjoyable experiencing how the sweetness, the oak, the barley, the spices and the citrus come together, it’s something I wish I can translate into words..

Thoroughly poised, the finishing encapsulates what a fun ride this has been, the peat carries through, but so do the red fruits and toffee treacle with some added traces of menthol.

Thoughts:

Nothing short of phenomenal.

☆☆ [Highly Recommend]

-Nicholas 

Whisky Review: Octomore OBA Concept Edition C_0.1

Style: Fruity and Peaty

Nose:
Powerful flow of chilli spices, nutmeg and a packet of spearmint cutting across a deeper layer of dried apricots. Orange for apricots… Really? Light lemon myrtle, colossal peat rising silently from an earthy tone. Going slightly milky, honey apricot yoghurt. Anise, embers, dry spices filling up the spaces.

Palate:
Fruity touch down on the palate, honeyed apricots running a mysterious smooth edge of winey red fruits. Salted caramel, milky texture, creamy blotches while the massive briny peat snugs in discretely. The sweetness is quickly tightened up by a medium-heavy bitter herbal overtone. High flashes of grassiness, low stringent oak dryness tidies up the back palate.

Finish:
Peat is much clearer as the sweetness wanes. Fragments of apricots, bitter oak, coal ambers and herbal notes linger till the end.

Thoughts:
Does OBA really deviate that much from the conventional Octomores? Not by much. Maybe that’s because Octomore itself is a crazy concept to begin with. So intense, dominated by spices, ashy and earthy notes… That said, OBA has a rather fruity core while curious cask influences are built around it. Some Sherry? Maybe. Wine? Maybe. Sauternes? Maybe. Uncharred virgin oak? Maybe. Apricot juice seasoned cask? Definitely! 🤣🤣🤣

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/distillery]

[59.7% • 2017 Bottled • Original Bottling • No Age Statement • Cask Strength • Non Chill Filtered • Non Coloured • Limited Edition • 3000 Bottles • t]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Octomore Edition 07.3

[63.0%・5 Years Old・Distilled in 2010・Bottled in 2015・Official Bottling・Limited Release]

How does one appreciate an Octomore?

It really is a take it or leave it affair with by far the most peated whiskies in the world. I will admit that to me personally the Octomore has often proven to be a challenging series. However it’s obvious that beneath the assault to the senses, there’s something truly complex about most Octomore releases, I am often amazed at just the spectrum of flavours I can jolt down when I really spend some quality time with a nip..

Take this Octomore 7.3 for example, it’s a whisky with a clear direction – what if we make a whisky with barley sourced from the Octomore farm on Islay?

The new make was made from barley sourced from the Octomore farm on Islay peated to a measly 169 ppm. This 5 year old whisky is in many ways still really raw, but that’s exactly the point.

Nose:

Muddy and clay like on the nose, there is the fragrant new make note in the mix. The maritime note with a mist of sea salt coming through adding to the depth of the dram. A faint tinge of cotton candy that gets engulfed by that strong betadine note.

Palate & Finish:

The initial English toffee and burnt caramel notes swiftly evolve into something dirtier and grittier on the palate as the seaweed note grows more prominent. This is followed by a bitter maltiness interimxed with a chunk of peat, something that resembles a fresh distillation run coming off the stills. The new make like element makes up the bulk of the body with hints of vanilla and other sugary content sipping in. The burgeoning character of the spices is evident with a slight touch of lemon marmalade; that wee jammy note plays a minor supporting role as the peat continues to develop, releasing minty, grassy notes.

The finishing feels enormous and yet when broken down it appears to be rather sophisticated, a third act that stole the play. Peat bogs burning away as traces of raspberry lozenge, burnt sugar and toasted seeds surface. There is a brush of cocoa powder that conveys the bitterness as the newly milled, highly peated barley just sticks to the teeth.

Thoughts:

I brushed my teeth, went to bed and that peat is still there, I keep reminding myself that this is exactly what Bruichladdich aims for with this release.

I suppose there are obvious ways to make Octomore more conventional but that whisky would’t quite be an Octomore now would it?

Trust the process.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

Nicholas

 

Whisky Review: Octomore 10 Years

Tasting Notes:

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 Years

Style: Farmhouse-esque and Complex

Nose:

Dry hints of haystack and creamy milk for the sweetness. Old timber shed tweaking and  some”organic” peat. Who grew up in a farm? Tones are heavy, low, like a solo cello, solemn but calm… Mr. Jim Murray nailed it, cow shed is the best descriptor here.

Palate:

The cow shed theme continues on the palate but with more upbeat vanillin fragrance. Honey notes and some soothing sweet malt marches in with stimulating chilli spices. We have a lighter presentation on the palate, the weight lessens, and dry organic notes wanes. Touches of salt and peat smoke strapped at the back seat.

Finish:

Softens up to release more of the sweet milky notes, with light brushes of brine and oak. Long and Enjoyable.

Thoughts:

Heavy, powerful and complex. The interplay between the peat, smoke, vanilla and smoke was exceptional and created such an unique farmhouse profile. Rarely you have Octomores dialed down to a lower strength to unveil their refined side. Less muscular but with much more flair. I took another sip again and for an instance I thought, perhaps 50% might work even better for them.

☆ [Recommended]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Octomore Edition 07.1 Scottish Barley

Musings:

Another year, another series of peat monster. Octomore hits number 7. It is interesting that Edition 7.1 is quite different to what 6.1 has offered: a buck load of bonfire smoke and ash. The new release has edged more towards the fruity, molasses side which I do find it a pleasant surprise. Perhaps in my mind, you do need a lot of sweetness and flavours to counterbalance the insane level of peat. I quite like this.

-Esmond

 

Tasting Notes:

Octomore Edition 7.1

Style: Peaty and Spritely

Nose:

Light mango syrup and floral aroma encounter an organic mix of peat, hay and mineral notes. Sly white vinegar fuming, and underneath hides a solid layer of vanilla malt. Bright, fruity and peaty nose.

Palate:

Stellar, clean sweetness on the palate! Honey, mango yogurt and passion fruit fruity notes landed with massive spice. Flavours slowly diverge into multiple layers, light molasses and honeycomb marshalled by muscular spice, while considerable bonfire peat smoke looming over the scene. More farm, organic murmur with a heavy brush of milk chocolate. Ends with a reflux of cereal dryness and sweetness.

Finish:

Molasses threads through and dances around the dying bonfire. Ashy but a glow of fruitiness could still be sighted.

Thoughts:

Under the fruity mask hides a complex personality with this dram. Young but with great depth. 208 ppm does smash a lot of peat in your face but it does not really steal the show. The sweetness and spiciness managed to find a wonderful balance somehow. A vivid, enjoyable dram.

[59.5%・2015・Non Chill Filtered・Non Coloured・Cask Strength・Original Bottling・Limited Edtion・Aged 5 Years]

 

Dram Review: Bruichladdich Octomore Edition 06.3

[64.0%・5 Years Old・Distilled in 2009・Bottled in 2014・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 18,000 Bottles]

Nose:

You can smell the peat from the next room when the cork is popped.
The nose is very milky. Subtle Chinese style charcoal barbecued meat jerky. A handful of smoked almonds and antiseptics in the back end. A splash of ocean saltiness and slight ashy after a while.

Palate & Finish:

Woah the palate is kind of indescribable but I will give it a go anyhow, quite a thick mouthful of sweet malted barley, sea salt infused peat; then some citrusy sweetness and caramel, vanilla and honey notes, followed by spices poking your tastebuds like tiny needles.

Vegetative peat and ashes in the finish with some creaminess coming back out.
The complexity of this dram needs to be appreciated when the 258 ppm is just a support act to the purity of each element, presenting themselves like a wonderful platter.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “P(eaty).T(asty).S(uperb).D(elicious)”

☆ [Recommended]

 

-Nicholas