Octomore 08 Masterclass (8.1, 8.2, 8.3) & OBA
It’s that time of year when a good peated whisky can really hit the spot… and there’s nothing better than a dram of Octomore for that!
Below I review Octomore 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3, and as a bonus Octomore OBA as well!
Let’s get going…
A NEW ‘TROIKA’ OF TENS
In 2011, Bruichladdich released their first new 10 year olds made from the spirit distilled since they re-opened for business in 2001.
Now Bruichladdich have released their second batch of 10 year olds, described by their Head Distiller Adam Hannett as “Very different – all three represent a snapshot in time. There is a respectful nod to those that have gone before… Although they are all fundamentally built on first-fill bourbon, I have used different suites of casks to construct each dram. There is Grenache Blanc in the Octomore, Tempranillo in the Port Charlotte and this new Laddie Ten vatting has some spirit matured in beautiful old sherry wood.”
So, without further ado, let’s see what my thoughts on them are…
Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Scottish Barley – 50% abv
Info: “Made from 100% Scottish barley, trickle distilled, then matured for its entire life by the shores of Lochindaal in premium American oak, it is a testament to the quality our ingredients.”. NAS.
Colour: Light straw to gold, classic and natural.
Nose: A slightly more easily accessed nose to the Islay Barley 2007, it’s light, fruity, yet strong and oily. There’s ripe melon and cask char.
Palate: Easy, classic unpeated Bruichladdich, yet the higher abv and cask aging has given it quite some bite and spices. It’s fresh but also with a touch of a coastal nature to it, it’s sweet, with some vanilla and gentle oaks.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007 – 50% abv
Info: Harvested in 2006 and distilled in 2007, the grain for this whisky was grown for Bruichladdich in the Minister’s Field at Rockside Farm by Mark and Rohaise French.
Colour: Light straw golden, nice and natural.
Nose: It’s got those deep punchy Bruichladdich oil tones all the way through, along with layers of light malt. There’s floral honey tones. Something funky.
Palate: Lovely, thick and warming. Considering it’s 50% it’s really gentle and velvety, very easy to drink and enjoy. It’s beautifully sweet and balanced with those ever present deep Bruichladdich oils there.
Port Charlotte (Bruichladdich) – 12yo – 58.7% abv
Info: This is a Travel Retail release (i.e. you can mostly only get it in airports or at the distillery). It’s being launched tomorrow aboard a Viking Line ferry in the Baltic sea (I hope the storms hold off!).
Colour: Full gold with orangey tints.
Nose: At first maybe slightly closed on the nose; it could be the fairly high ABV, or it could just be that the aging process has given this more of a maturity than you have seen before from Port Charlotte. Given time and warmth there’s a leathery note alongside the gentle beefy peat and thicker oils. A drop of water helps open the nose up a bit.
Port Charlotte (Bruichladdich) – Islay Barley 2008 – 50% abv
Info: This is the first Port Charlotte release to have been created using barley that was exclusively grown on Islay and nowhere else. Harvested in September 2008 from the farms at Coull, Kynagarry, Island, Rockside, Starchmill and Sunderland, peated to 40 PPM, then distilled in December of the same year, this is a whisky of flawless provenance. The intention is to try and recreate the spirit that was made at the distillery over 100 years ago.
Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley – 2009 / 5yo – 64% abv
Info: The first Octomore distilled from 100% Islay barley. Grown and harvested by James Brown from Lorgba, a field on Octomore farm. A massive 258 PPM.
Colour: Fairly rich golden, autumn tints.
Nose: As ever you have those well known slightly briny deep engine oil tones that Bruichladdich is famous for, smokey barley and sweet citrus and oak notes, a background of marmalade. It becomes lighter and lighter over time with honeyed tones showing.
Palate: Really oily and rich with slightly sweet mossy peat tones. The high ABV does make it quite hot. The mossy tones seem more pronounced in this particular Octomore over previous versions, and I like them!
Octomore 2.2 – Orpheus
Colour: Golden with red tints.
Nose: Thick, buttery, creamy and fruity all mashed together with elegant peat and smoke. Red berries mashed up, jelly like.
Palate: Thick, oily and smoky with elegant peat (no tcp), sweet berries and somewhat of a fizzyness on your tongue, like a refresher. Quite powerful with it’s alcohol strength.
Finish: Loooong, sweet with smoke, peat and some red wine and dark berries coming through and lasting for ages, some red apples there too.
Laphroaig – Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood Edition – 51.30%
Let’s call this a dapper golden pink in colour. Laphroaig on the nose, but just slightly restrained, gentle peat and fruit jostling together, not so much tcp. Smooth malty peat, slightly tarry as normal, but with a fruit sweetie nature behind it all. Fresh, sweet but well balanced finish. I really enjoy this, all nicely integrated with the port wood. A well priced session / drinking dram this.