Octomore 6 1

Bruichladdich: Octomore 6.1 (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 5 Year: 57% ABV)

Visual: Clear grain gold.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Very dry. White wine. Medicinal. Alcohol tingling feel. Peppered beef. Orange liquore. Water adds sulphur and makes suddenly very peaty and slightly grassy.

Body: Peat. Prickling feel. Beef slices. Medicinal and drying. Pepper. Grapes. Dessert wine. Vanilla toffee. Grassy. Oak. Apples. Water adds vanilla cream and emphasises the peat.

Finish: Smoke. Dry, Vanilla. Beef jerky. Peat. Light paprika. Toffee. Medicinal character. Cardamom. Rice. Apples and light lime.

Conclusion: This is intense and immense. Oddly the immense character comes less in the form of smoke and more in the very medicinal character that dominates the early part of the spirit. The peat brings in beef slices and does still bring in a reasonable heft of smoke, all very drying. It is an experience just for that but behind the punch there is light vanilla sweetness and wine like white grapes, surprisingly delicate notes behind the assault and a great balance to the peat. While it is not as complex as Ardbog it is just as thrilling as you would expect.

Oddly, after having the 5.1 a year ago, this is actually less drying and more towards the medicinal as said, as opposed to the 5.1 which was more thick peat feel. This however balances much better, there is more room, when you acclimatise, to feel the softer notes behind.

With water added it becomes even more overpowering in the peat, causing an initial gasp of surprise as the water has the exact opposite effect of the expected. The huge, bigger peat however gains an even softer backing with apples in amongst the grapes. It is much lovelier here, richer and smoother without any sacrifice to the peat. With more water it becomes creamier and creamier behind the medicinal front. The further you go, the more it becomes an exercise in contradicting notes that somehow work.

Intense neat, wine like and yet harshly powerful with water, creamy strength and peaty with even more water, it is never super complex but never lets down on its reputation. Very full, and yet can feel so surprisingly soft at times as you become used to the peat. Well worth trying for what it is, both an experience and a good whisky.

Background: One thousand drink reviews! That is just slightly scary, but for the big 1K we have this special number. At 167 ppm this is nearly the peatiest whisky ever (version 5.1 which I tried but never reviewed was 169). This was drunk at the amazing Independent Spirit Rare Whisky event at Circo. When they say rare they mean rare, while there are still some bottles of this still available they tend to go very fast and then the price rockets up. We had five whiskys that night, with other guests, my friend Matt, and Chris from Independent spirits all giving their thoughts. Since I know how easy it is to get psychosomatic flavours after someone else mentions them consider the above a view of the general opinion on the whisky so I can call it a feature rather than a bug. Due to the nature of the event my notes were somewhat haphazard, but hopefully I’ve managed to put them together into something readable. Thanks to the guys at Independent spirit for such an awesome event and for giving me a cheer for completing my thousandth review.

Advertisements