In 2017, Bruichladdich distillery released the eighth edition of its ‘Super Heavily Peated Whisky’ lineup called Octomore. To commemorate the occasion, Adam Hannett, the Head Distiller, has compiled a unique Masterclass of four exemplary Octomores called ‘Octomore Eights’ so that the enthusiasts would have the chance to compare and find out ‘What makes an Octomore what it is’.

Today, we will be reviewing Bruichladdich Octomore 8.2, an expression that comes with 167 ppm and defined as ‘for risk and provocation’ by the distillery.

This is an 8-year-old whisky. At first, new make spirits mature for 6 years in three different types of red wine casks. Mourvedre – a red wine grape that has a reputation for producing intense red fruit, and strong, earthy, even gamey flavours. Sauternes – casks from the Graves section in Bordeaux that previously held some of the most revered and exclusive dessert wines the world has ever seen. And finally Austrian sweet wines, full-bodied with an ability to challenge convention with innovative techniques. After the initial maturation, whiskies are vatted together and ACEd (Additional Cask Enhancement) for an additional two years in fresh Amarone – a typically rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina Rondinella – casks before being bottled.

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.2 is a Travel Exclusive expression that is limited to 36.000 bottles worldwide. It comes with 58.8% ABV, non-chill filtered and colour free. It is available at the most duty-free locations with a price tag of around €150.00


Bruichladdich Octomore 8.2 Whisky Tasting Notes

Color: Reddish brown with rose gold highlights.

Nose: An intense combination of red fruit and peat smoke. Multi-layered fruit aromas, mango, coconut and honeyed apricot along with black cherry and plums. The additional sweetness of sugared barley and chocolate. A sweet-tobacco like character with a herbal complexity in the background.

Palate: Full bodied, warm and velvet-like texture. Flavour characteristics follow a similar pattern to the nose. Strawberry with a touch of darker fruits like figs, drizzled with brown sugar and rose water. Spices, cinnamon, and clover provide the warmth. Charred oak and burnt tobacco feel like the source of the smoke.

Finish: Long and strong finish. Sweetness disappears to leave behind a dark and bitter, ash-like aftertaste.

I am not a huge fan of Octomore series. I found these high concentrations of peat to be overwhelming and taste bud numbing. In this particular case, the strong red wine influence somehow manages to keep the peat in control and offers a pleasant drinking experience. This is a great bottle for anyone who wants to try super heavily peated whisky but has reservations. The real ‘peatheads’ may find this one a bit too sweet for their liking.