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…
Octomore 7.4 – 61.2% abv
Info: Matured in virgin oak casks. Distilled 21/04/2008, making this 7 years old. 167 PPM.
Colour: Dark, rusty gold, red tints.
Nose: Bosh! Insanely good, really exciting stuff you can smell for ages. For those that have been lucky enough to have ever had Balcones goodies, there’s a definite parallel… rich virgin oak, smokiness, streaky fried bacon, bonfires and barley notes amongst many other smells.
Palate: Very thick oils which are really easy on your tongue considering the 61.2% volume of alcohol. Packed full of those virgin oak notes of smoked brushwood, barley and hints of tannin. After a while held on the tongue there’s kind of a cola cube sweet type of a note. It’s sweet, rich and moreish.
Bruichladdich Octomore 7.2 – 5yo – 58.5% abv
Info: Peated to 208ppm and 5 years old. Travel Retail (i.e. airports). Limited edition cuvee that marries spirit matured in classic American oak with spirit matured in casks that once held Syrah created in the great vineyards of the northern Rhone valley.
Colour: Ripe straw.
Nose: Octomore, but with a twist, has it been tamed?! There’s malt, lots of mossy peat and smouldering wood char, but it’s possibly less in your face than you might expect, it’s checked by the sweeter influences from the Syrah casks which seem to helped balance it out perfectly into a nice rounded peaty dram.
Palate: Rich, thick and oily on your palate, but also really easy to take at full strength without overloading your palate. The mossy peat nature comes first, followed by building pepper spices, but all balanced out by a nearly fizzy sweet nature from the wine finish which works a treat.
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.