Bruichladdich describe themselves as 'Progressive Hebridean Distillers'. They certainly are that when it comes to their Octomore range of whiskies – Named after the farms above Port Charlotte, the Octomore series has the reputation for being the world’s most heavily peated whisky. But, more than this, the series has looked to challenge conventions around the quality of whisky being purely derived from its age. Always peaty, but not always peaty in the exact manner that you’d expect, Octomore is certainly a palate-testing and thought-provoking experience. Thinking and drinking hand in hand.
Octomore 07.2 was orginally a travel retail release, clocking in a whopping 208PPM (They're working on a 300+ version though guys so hold on to your potatoes) and is a 5 year old combination of American Oak casks and as well as Syrah red wine casks.
Nose: Intense soot and ash, but not medicinal, nor bonfirey. Stony notes akin to seashells, supported by obvious seaweed and brine. Vegetal green peppers mix with a light but noticable sweetness.
Taste: Here it comes! Immediate and fairly aggressive, it'll take your palate a second or third taste to process this. Still very sooty and ashy, but with a touch of more 'traditional' smoke added to the mix. Red fruits, strong orange and ginger. Great rich mouthfeel from the high ABV. Water brings out the sweeter background notes even further.
Finish: Crazy long. Lingering ash which feels tannic around the teeth - the Syrah wine surely.
Pow! This Octomore is a lot more punchy on the palate than previous versions I have tried. The sweetness from the Syrah wine is an interesting addition, though the focus here is on the ash and soot notes which dominate the experience from start to finish. But, it’s Octomore, so it’s totally drinkable (once you’ve gotten over the first hit and recovered from it) and super interesting at the same time. By no means a daily drinker, but that's not what Octomore is about right?Score: 84/100