Octomore 07.2 / 208ppm Cask Evolution (58.5%, OB, 2015)
- Bruichladdich Distillery
- Remy Cointreau
- 58.5% ABV
- Score: 87/100
What they say:
The latest exemplar of the cult that surrounds the world’s most heavily peated whisky series. A 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.
All casks are held full term, providing the time and space for the subtle strength of European oak to temper the cultured fruit notes of classic French viniculture. Peated to 208ppm it is released at five years old when the massive phenols so characteristic of this extraordinary single malt are at their most vital. This is a spirit with a texture and depth of flavour that is simply inimitable.
Enigmatic. Defiant. Forget what you thought you knew.
Golden syrup, smoke and red berry fruits to begin. The gentle smoke weaves through poached pear and apple pie from the distillation with the ripe fruits from the cask, red berries peach and apricot. As you inhale deeper, delicate floral notes unclouded by the smoke are released heather, lilies and orange blossom.
The combination of sweet fruits and smoke is classic Octomore. Huge levels of peat sit in perfect balance with the flavours released from the cask. Add a drop or two of water and we get cherry, bramble, strawberry from the Syrah casks; cinder toffee, brown sugar, honey and crème brulee from the American oak burst through. You can feel and taste the rewards of our patience – slow trickle distillation provides the soft silky texture that coats your mouth and releases wave after wave of the soft fruit and floral fragrance.
As lemon zest, red fruit and vanilla oak fades away the deep smoke lingers, a potent reminder of the strength and character of Islay.
To be enjoyed in good company. Pour another dram. Everything else can wait….
What I say:
Many thanks to Bruichladdich Distillery for review sample. Thanks also to Steve at Somerset Whisky Blog and Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews for sharing. Peated to a massive 208ppm and partially red wine cask matured – what’s not to like?
Light straw gold (6-20), medium-fine tears leaving fine trails
Massively peaty, earthy and ashen peat, almonds and marzipan, window putty and linseed oil, malty cereal barley, marmite on well-fired toasted brown bread, burnt marshmallows roasted over a peat bonfire, strawberries
Again hugely peaty, mouth-filling earthy peat, malty cereal barley, molasses and caramelised sugar, black liquorice, kirsch liqueur and red berries, cherry, strawberry, brambles and raspberry, meaty, burnt brown toast with marmite
Long, citrus zest, smoke, ash, peat, toffee/caramel and fruity
Quite surprising, I expected another massively peaty and dusty ‘all day breakfast’ of a whisky and sampled this before finding out it had been partially matured in ex-red wine casks. Initially I thought the overwhelming strawberry aroma and flavour was a by-product of too much peat and I was likening some sort of fruity nature like strawberries with black pepper. So it isn’t too surprising then that this has ex-red wine cask maturation, the peat is not all-pervading and actually many interesting flavours can be found. I am also not a big fan of liquorice (often an aftertaste associated with underactive casks) but found it rather enjoyable here as it seemed somehow intentional and was balanced against some big flavours – definitely not a poor cask effect. The bramble too evokes masses of thick black jam on toast and all sorts of liqueur or syrup type concentrations (think Ribena concentrate!). It’s youth gives it some power but still a tiny bit of roughness round the edges.