What do you buy for the special person in your life who loves peaty whisky? The peatiest whisky in the world of course. The fact that it completes the series from the Bruichladdich distillery of which we already have 2, is just the cherry on the cake. I bought John a bottle of Octomore Scottish Barley for a special occasion. I can’t even remember what the special occasion was. Might have been a wedding anniversary to reward him for surviving with me for another year. 😆 John loves peat! I have a sweeter palate and prefer my peat with some sweeter notes.
This Octomore Scottish Barley was for him, not me. The distillery that bears the title “Worlds most peated Whisky”, The Bruichladdich Octomore has a cult following around the world. Some of the recent releases are seated up to 208ppm. This Scottish Barley 06.1 Edition is peated to (only) peated to 167 ppm.
I wrote extensively about the other 2 brands in the range: the unpeated Bruichladdich and the heavy peated Port Charlotte already. The Octomore name pays homage to a farm located on the hillside above the Port Charlotte village on Islay, not far from the Bruichladdich distillery. Octomore farm operated its own licensed distillery between 1816 and 1852.
The Octomore Scottish Barley is a 5 years old and made from barley harvested from mainland Scotland. The Bruichalddich distillery is currently owned French multinational drinks group Rémy Cointreau.
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Tasting notes for the Octomore Scottish Barley Edition 06.1
COLOUR: Golden autumn yellow
NOSE: The Octomore Scottish Barley has that classic Islay nose. Smoke, ash and peat assault the senses. You can sense the heavy peat from a mile away. It’s big and bold. It’s rich and complex. There are notes of seaweed and salt, iodine and medicinal notes balanced with honey, cinnamon and vanilla.
PALATE: The smoke, ash and peat continue on the palate. There is a honey sweetness that lingers with hints of pepper, cinnamon and sea air. John described it as”… The boldness on the nose climbs into your mouth with vengeance. After drinking this dram I feel like heading out to sea to catch herring – or to invade France. It’s that kind of a dram. It’s big in the mouth, soil and tar on the tongue…” Water soothes the ash and peat a little and bring the sweetness forward.
FINISH: It has a dry finish with peat, pepper and honey. John was lyrical about this dram and he described the finish as “…the finish hangs around like aunt Sally after Christmas dinner. Like her, it refuses to leave. Unlike her it’s welcome to stay. The ending is charcoal and tar poles. I’ve never tasted tar poles – and thanks to this dram I now have no need. It’s just brilliant.”
Ok, a great present for John and the perfect gift for the peat lover. The surprise however was how much I loved it. I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. Good thing that I write about this bottle now, because it will not last very long. It is big, bold earthy, however the Octomore Scottish Barley remains balanced and graceful. Simply delicious!
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