Islay region — 62.50%ABV – $130 | £97 | €112
There’s a lot to be said about this whisky but much of it is going to come out from the whisky itself.
What I can tell you before we get into the actual review of it is that it’s a big furry bear of a whisky; chock full of a lot more than I expected (to be very honest with you).
When this whisky first came out I was a bit skeptical. I thought that Bruichladdich’s coming out with the biggest, peatiest whisky on the market was nothing more than a “who’s got the biggest whisky schvanse” marketing ploy and nothing more. I think I was wrong. Dead wrong.
I think I’m going to skip to the chase here on this whisky…
On the nose — Nice and fruity – pears, rhubarb, licorice, soured and sweetened milk (again, baby vomit – it must be a young Bruichladdich thing), lemony, white lithium grease, oh yeah, some peaty smokiness…
For having a peat level of 10 trillion parts per million (OK, it’s really 140ppm), it’s not the burning cauldron of brimstone I expected.
Reminds me of the time when I was 8 years old and burned down my local woods while playing with matches. Light a match, blow it out. Light a match, blow it out. Look down and, wham-o, my shoes are on fire! I ran away intact. I wish I could say the same for the woods…
On the mouth — Wham, bam thank you ma’am!
The ABV is making its presence known… Hot!
However, the mouth feel is great, oily, chewy… nice, nice, nice.
With water: it just got that much chewier and now creamy;
with water, this is a true treat.
Delicious, chewlicious, peatlicious.
Finish — On and on, creamy, peaty and fruity…
In sum — I love it when I’m proved wrong. This is a great whisky that has MUCH more to offer that peat & smoke. A lovely stunner with the sweet, sour, fruits, smoke, chewiness, etc… Especially given the price, this is one to treat yourself with (preferably during the winter time).
A big thanks goes out to Gal of Whisky Israel for this sample. Gal did a side by side (or head to head, however you want to look at it) of the Octomore 2.1 & 2.2 – click here for his good thoughts on these Octomores.