This year Bruichladdich Distillery is releasing the Eight Edition of its Octomore series – The peatiest whiskies of its lineup. As the name Octomore is based on the number 8, this year the edition is getting a special treat from the distillery.
To commemorate this special 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’
Bruichalddich defines 8.1 as a benchmark, the 8.2 is for risk and provocation, the 8.3 is a challenge for the senses and a real Islay monster and the 8.4, The “Gamechanger”, changed everything so far.
We do have the detailed information about these four variants thanks to our friends @ WhiskyExperts.net
Octomore Masterclass 8.1
An 8 Year expression. Maturation took place on Islay Island in American first-fill oak barrels. The spirit is distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2016. This expression is limited to 42.000 bottles and comes with 59.3% ABV and 167 ppm. It will be available starting late August / Early September with a recommended retail price of 130 €
Color: Winter sun, crisp and bright
Nose: Initially smoke, tar, peat ash hint of muddiness/wet peat moss. Candied orange, pepper, chocolate, macaroon, vanilla fudge and lemon meringue pie.
Palate: Liquid gold, soft and delicate texture from slow distillation. Superb fruit/smoke combination. On the lips there is soft kiss of salt spray, ozone fresh. Sweet oak gives vanilla, fudge, marzipan and walnut. Melon and citrus come through on a floral breeze. Many layered there is a lot find in this Octomore
Finish: Wow! Smoothness, sweetness and then smoke. A texture like no other, satin soft and devilishly warming. The American oak influence is in perfect tune with the smoke and soft fruits delicately, skilfully coaxed from the still during exceptionally slow distillation. Vanilla, honey, citrus rise up to be met with sea spray and leather, smoked mussels mix with autumn bracken and crème brûlée.
Octomore Masterclass 8.2
Another 8 Year Expression. Six years separate maturation in the French 2nd fill Sauternes- and Mourvedrefass as well as in the Austrian sweet wine barrel. Subsequent marriage. Then two years ACE (Additional Cask Enhancement) in Italian first fill Amarone barrels. This one is Travel Retail Exclusive and will be limited to 36.000 bottles. The alcohol content is 58.4% ABV and peat level is 167 ppm
Color: Ruby red.
Nose: Peat smoke comes first but not dominant, there is red fruit, aniseed and barley sugar/boiled sweets. Smoke weaves between the other notes as they come, stewed apple, raspberry, blackcurrant, dried apricots and chocolate. Orange, mince pies and Turkish delight hint at the cask history then cherry wafers and coconut open out to floral notes of hay, geranium and Parma violets.
Palate: Warming and sweet, deep fruit and satin-like smoke. The oak feels a little dry then lifts to become toasted bread, bubble-gum sweetness and strawberry Jam. Adding a drop or two of water opens up the Islay DNA of salt spray, ozone and citrus. As it opens you find rose petal, Turkish delight, praline and more strawberry jam, all the while the smoke is in the background holding everything together.
Finish: Typical Octomore. Smoke comes through, a dry peat smoke, with malted barley and cherry, then goes out on its own.
Octomore Masterclass 8.3
This one is defined as the ‘Octomore of Octomore’. This expression comes with a whooping 309 ppm and 61.2% ABV. (It will definitely grow hair on your chest). A 5 Year expression where the spirit is distilled in 2010. This is a single farm, single field, single vintage expression. Maturation took place in 56% ex-Bourbon (full-term American oak) 44% European oak (full-term ex-Pauillac, Ventoux, Rhône and Burgundy) casks. Suggested retail price is 180 € and will be available from end of October. Limited to 18.000 bottles.
Color: Golden syrup
Nose: Toasted oak and muddy/peaty smoke, bandages. Maple syrup, fresh linen, sea shells. Evokes a memory of lying in the heather on the peat moss, the warm sun coaxing the scent from the wild fowers. The fruit is cherry, peach and mango, with crème brulee and to ee from the oak and barley.
Palate: Initially a surprise as the stellar level of peat is bitter and over-whelming. Another sip opens with up with cherry and peach and toasted sweet oak, dark chocolate, boot polish and seaweed. At this level the peat is like a thunder cloud, darkening the atmosphere. You can feel it in your bones.
Finish: Complex, crème brulee with caramelised brown sugar slightly overdone. Dark plum, orange and kiwi sit well with the malted barley sweetness. The peat smoke is a tremendous presence o ering roasted coffee, burnt heather and a place in your memory forever.
Octomore Masterclass 8.4
Another 8 Year Old Expression. This one is limited to 12.000 bottles and comes with 58.7% ABV and 170 ppm. Information about its maturation is;20% first fill Virgin Oak barrels 80% first fill ex-Bourbon barrels, ACE in 2nd fill Virgin Oak of the French Tonnellerie Radoux. It will be made available early February of 2018 with a price tag of 165 €.
Color: Autumn leaves
Nose: A little smoke but gentle and warm. The oak comes with sweet honeyed malt and banana bread. The phenolic muddy notes come again now with a peppery, floral edge. With time the oak gives more and more, toffee popcorn, vanilla fudge, coconut, cinnamon. The smoke fades back a little now.
Palate: A rich texture feels like honey as it slowly builds the flavour of the sweet mellow oak. Leather and toasted wood combine with the delicate smoke. There is balance here as there is no oak notes without an equal and complimenting note from the smoke. Praline, coconut, clove are matched with barbeque, burnt heather and iodine. The spirit behind the smoke and oak brings a lemon and salt spray hit once opened with spring water as well as hints of mint and stewed apple.
Finish: Clove, aniseed and coffee grounds fade to peat smoke – the typical, classic Octomore finish that always lingers in your mind.