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.
A bit young and fiery, filled with salt and spit (like a young Ricky Hatton, if he were a whisky) – with water the menthol kicks in as does an immense brush fire.
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!
I just got bitch slapped by this ‘laddich!
The ABV is making its presence known… Hot!
However, the mouth feel is great, oily, chewy… nice, nice, nice.
Buttery biscuits, ashes, licorice, more ashes.
With water: it just got that much chewier and now creamy;
with water, this is a true treat.
Apples arrive and so does caramel (fantastic combination).
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.