I’m an enormous fan of the elements range, with some of my favourite ever whiskies in there including the Ar4 – quite a snip, all things considered, at about £100 for 50cl.
This is the first Elements of Islay Octomore, and big thanks to Stevie P for saving me a sample from the whisky boat he was on at Feis Ile. At £175 for 50cl (£245 a 70cl bottle – 10 quid a glass in your own home) it’s frighteningly bad value for money.
C⊕ means “faulty but with some really good points” (I don’t deploy that score often) – and those good points are from the distillery and the cask. It’s faulty because it’s too peated!
Nose - This smells like Grillstock - boozy, lots of bacon and oak smoke. Briny too, ozone and smoked fish, toast and dill and smoked salmon. Red wine and musk. Agave, chapulinas and churros. Fetid wood. With water, even more fetid and a lot of rubber. This whisky could do with a shower. The empty glass reminds me of a dirty garage forecourt at the end of a very hot summers day. Fascinating as this is to smell, I'm not sure when you'd pour a glass of this to drink.
Body - Marker pen, rotten plums, chocolate and forest floor. Black forest gateau iced with tarmac.
Finish - Long, palate smashing, rotten peat. Wrapped in marzipan. Finally, pears on the turn.
What's not good about it - A curio. Octomore has officially just jumped the shark for me. Obviously, it's also laughably expensive.
What's good about it - The complexity and competence inherent in the Bruichladdich stills almost battles through the poison pumped into the malt - and the cask was probably pretty interesting. They should refill it to Port Charlotte.
A real "looking" whisky.
Time for a beer!