The trick to appreciating Octomore is to not treat it like an end of the night drink but to have it at the start, and take your time with it. It doesn’t go well on a tired palate and the effect isn’t as peaty as you are being led to believe. The 09 series is about to land so high time to get to these notes.
Scottish barley, 167ppm, 8 years old. “Distilled in 2008 using 100% Scottish barley, from 2007 harvest. 100% matured in first fill American oak casks, including Buffalo Trace, Clermont Springs, Four Roses, Heaven Hill & Jack Daniels”
Nose - Chalky, with white wine, banana foam sweets - very sweet - and Crunchy bars and blackcurrant leaf. Quite delicately fruity under the gunpowder peat. Fruitier with water, more honey and a little more wood.
Body - Melon, blackcurrant travel sweets and white bread toast. Dirtier with water, charred barley, lemon meringue and a little rubber.
Finish - Medium long with fruit salad chews, lemon sherbets and quite a lot of pineapple.
A fruit bomb if you take your time with it. This is my favourite of the three (in the 7 series my favourite was the 7.4, virgin oak, and I’ve not tried 8.4).
Scottish barley, 167ppm, 8 years old. “All of the opulent spirit in Octomore 08.2 spent the first six years of its life in one of three different styles of wine cask. French Mourvedre – a red wine grape that has a reputation for producing intense red fruit, and strong, earthy, even gamey flavours. Austrian sweet wines – full bodied and charming with an ability to challenge convention with innovative techniques. French 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.”
I assume the spirit spent the last two years in refill bourbon. I believe the Sauternes casks for Bruichladdich are always d’Yquem.
Body - Nutty and ripe - hazelnut praline, baked plums and caught crumble. Much drier than the 08.1, with pickled Chinese greens.
Finish - Long and peppery, leathery with popping candy and cigarette tar.
This is more complex than the 08.1, much more perfumed and dry but the .1 is more fun.
Islay barley, 309ppm. “Octomore 08.3 was matured in 56% first fill Bourbon casks, the remaining in ex-Paulliac, Ventoux, Rhone and Burgundy casks”
Nose - Dry and dirty with toasted sesame, rye bread, washing up liquid and instant coffee granules. It's really deep though with chocolate cake, baked beetroot and wood glue. The high peating is quite weird and doesn't quite hang together like the first two do.
Body - Black pepper, gloss paint and royal icing. A little onion.
Finish - Medium - but I like the orange peel and mango juice at the end.
Held up side by side with the first two this doesn't have either the fun or complexity they do.