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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

January 31, 2014


Octomore vs. Octomore

There’s no peatier malt than that used for Bruichladdich’s Octomore, especially the second-era versions that were distilled from malt that used to contain 167ppm phenols. But let’s remember Bruichladdich’s stills are very tall – the opposite of Ardbeg, for example -, so the distillate then loses a sizeable part of that peatiness.  But Octomore’s still a peaty beast…

Octomore 5 yo 06.1_167 (57%, OB, 2013)

Octomore 5 yo 06.1_167 (57%, OB, 2013) Four starsColour: dark straw. Nose: starts very, very briny. Nosing a puddle of seawater under the sun, or something like that. Then waves of fresh putty and paint, plasticine, black pepper, cut grass, cigar ashes, coal pile, then more aromatic herbs, thyme, fennel, dill... The complexity is really striking, you’d rather expect this to be huge and one-dimensional, but it isn’t at all. With water: the malted barley comes out, together with touches of yeast and more cola ashes. ‘Visiting the distillery’. Mouth (neat): wham! Seawater and lemon juice and ashes and orange blossom honey (from the oak?), with an oily mouth feel but no extreme peat. It’s actually rather sweet and even quite jammy. In a way, it’s pretty soft whisky. With water: becomes drier, with more lemon juice and ashes. It lost its roundness and most fruits. Finish: long, with a clear feeling of raw peated malt and more ashes again in the aftertaste. Comments: I love Octomore, but I wouldn’t say this one’s my favourite. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t seem to be a perfect swimmer. But hey, it’s still very excellent… SGP:447 – 85 points.

Octomore 6 yo 2004/2011 '167 The Beast – Futures II' (60.5%, OB, 2011)

Octomore 6 yo 2004/2011 '167 The Beast – Futures II' (60.5%, OB, 2011) Four stars and a half These were only available from the distillery and are now pretty expensive, it seems. Colour: gold. Nose: this one is sweeter, easier, fruitier than the new one, but it’s no sweet, easy and fruity whisky of course. Well actually the ashy side grows and grows, together with some brine and more and more fresh almonds, which in turn start to resemble the plasticine and the putty that we had found in the other one. What remains much more discreet here is the brine. With water: superb. Tinned sardines, almonds, anchovies, paint… Really outruns the new one at this point. Mouth (neat): stronger than the new one, more pungent, smokier, certainly more extreme, peatier… Were the casks less active? It’s also much spicier, with more pepper. So yeah, a bigger beast altogether. With water: excellent! This one swims like a champ. Big, a little sweeter, peppery, ashy, smoky, liquoricy… Finish: very long, with some tar, pepper and many ashes. Comments: just perfect – unless you do not like peat of course. SGP:449 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Octomore I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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