Region – Islay – 69.5% ABV – Price?? – a whole bunch of ££ but you can find this bottle for even more ££ on various auction websites.
While I’ve found myself in bonnie Scotland many a time now, I have yet to get my rear-end over there during the Feis Ile festival that happens every year at the end of May. Imagine nine days devoted to the malts of Islay, on Islay and each distillery releasing a special bottling for the festival.
Sounds like a wee Bit o’
Honey Heaven. Thankfully, my good friend Matt L ventures out there every year and was kind enough to grab me a few festival bottles.
While I wanted a bottle from each distillery A) bottles are often limited to one per person and B) I don’t want to overload Matt with all of my requests and C) if I spend TOO much money, my wife will give me a “what for” that I’d never forget or recover from.
I had to be really choosey about which bottles to get so some investigation was in order. I found out that Bruichladdich’s Feis Ile bottling just so happened to be an Octomore. Once I found out this little detail, I knew I had to get one of those. However, what I did not know was that this was a quadruple distilled Octomore.
Quad-distilling the spirit kicked the ABV up to insane heights! After 7 years in first fill oloroso casks, the ABV ended up at 69.5%! Sweet Fancy Moses!! Now I was even more excited. Word on the street was it was so powerful it could bring a tear to a man’s eye. Matt asked me, “are you sure you want me to get you a bottle?”
How could one *not* want to taste this juice after hearing of the hurt it could inflict on those that dare drink it?!
Thanks to Matt’s good help and to the over-seas shipping gods, I am now the owner of some of those most powerful whisky ever produced on Islay. Peated to 167ppm, quadruple distilled, matured for 7 years in oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 69.5% ABV… let’s see how this young lady is (and if I survive her).
On the nose — Well hello yourself, little lady! She’s both embracingly sweet and warmingly peat in the same lil’ sniff.
She is a bag of pork rinds in hand with plastic bag to boot.
A host of cut lemons and ground green peppercorns over a plate of fresh shaved fennel, you are young miss! “Pour some
sugar agave on me and wrap me up in chilies” (to the tune of that crap ass Def Lepard song).
“Your body fits me like a fig skin tuxedo, I want to sink you with my pink torpedo” (to the tune of one of the best Spinal Tap songs ever).
You’re a really wild one. I’m’a taste you now. (plus, I’m done referring to you as a person. It’s sort of perverse sounding and I think I my have lost some readers along the way).
On the mouth — Ash trays and all things drying (alcohol, salt, hot air, dry-dry sherry, drier than Oloroso dry sherry, Desert Planet, Arrakis).
Must take another sip. Now that my mouth has a chance to realize what’s happening, it’s starting to react and understand what exactly is happening in it right now.
Let the laundry list begin: Medium oils, very sherried but somehow not a sherry bomb, dried and sugared dates, cracked oat bran, new rubber umbrella (a la from the closet of The Penguin), chili powder with hints cooked, un-spiced pumpkin.
All in all, for 69.5% ABV, it’s nice to know that I’m not dead (yet).
Finish — Long and now with hints of menthol and a bowl of those dried and sugared dates I tasted.
In sum — I love the size of Bruichladdich’s balls.
In this day of sought after, highly up-sellable, Feis Ile bottlings, Bruichladdich dared to release one that I would have thought many would be both afraid to buy and afraid to post on auction sites. 69.5% ABV, Quadruple distilled 7yo juice?! I mean, come on…
Here’s the thing. It sold out. Heck, I bought a bottle (Thanks again to my buddy Matt). It’s being sold on auction sites, too.
My hope is that these bottles do terribly on these auction sites. Dudes, stop trying to make money and drink the juice because, I’ll tell you, it’s damn good. Yes, you may lose the ability to reproduce after a dram or two but hey… it’s… ummm… Ok, I have nothing after that comment. But if you sell your bottle, you’re missing out on good whisky. For those that buy a bottle on auction, open it and do so immediately. Open and and drink it with lots of friends. You’ll be happy you did.