Tasted: Bruichladdich Octomore 0.61 & 0.63 Islay Malt Whisky
By Martin Isark
Octomore malts are the world’s most heavily peated malt whiskies.
Phew! Are they something like the world’s hottest chilli, a must try if you really like it hot, but once is enough? Or are they the ultimate smoky drams?
About eight years ago, Jim McEwan, Master Distiller at Bruichladdich, sent me an early distilled sample of Octomore, although at the time, it was at the experimental stage, and it didn’t have a name. In the tasting glass this water white, high octane spirit delivered sweet malty notes that came backed with smoke and a powerful peaty palate rush. It was very difficult to visualise how this embryonic dram would mature and grow up!
Eight years on. Has it delivered? Absolutely.
Is Octomore the ultimate smoky dram? Yep.
Which Octomore? 0.61 or 0.63? They are both outstanding drams, and if the wallet allows, buy them both, but if you have to choose one? The 0.63 with its Islay barley just edges it for me.
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Octomore 06.1 Single Islay Malt Whisky
Jim McEwan, the distilling magician, has created Octomore 06.1, a smoky blockbuster dram, that’s pure palate art for the Islay whisky aficionado. It is a high octane, super heavily peated malt that does NOT pound your palate into a state of shock, but has your tastebuds turning somersaults with its full-on flavour. Once swallowed your palate is pleading for an encore or two, so you sip and swallow until the glass is drained. The work of a true artist! Tasted February 2015. Reviewed by Martin Isark
Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley Islay Malt Whisky
If you have to make a choice between Octomore 06.1 and 06.3, then it has to be the 06.3. Why? The 06.3 with its Islay barley delivers a dram that sings of Islay’s salty terroir. Add a tiny splash of water and this smoky blockbuster turns into an elegant honeyed dram threaded with heather and vanilla and finished with a salty peaty lick.Once swallowed your palate is pleading for an encore or two! Tasted February 2015. Reviewed by Martin Isark