Bottler: original bottling
Age: 10 years
Casks: Ex-bourbon, Grenache Blanc
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
We’ve taken a look at the new 10yo Bruichladdich and the new Port Charlotte – now it’s time to taste the new 10 yo heavily peated Octomore!
Colour: dark reddish gold
The nose starts off with… smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke and more smoke. Just as with the new 10 yo Port Charlotte it is a campfire-type, fragrant smoke, not the “usual” phenolic, iodine south-coast Islay smoke. Did I mention smoke? And soot! And wet smoke from a fire being extinguished with water. Give it a few minutes and – ah – oh, there’s more than just smoke now! A dense, layered sweetness – smoky marmalade and mixed fruits jam (including strawberry) – paired with fresh ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, a slice of lemon and a pinch of nutmeg. An almost perfect marriage of smoke, smoke and smoke with fruits, sweetness and spices. Very good indeed. Let’s see what the palate has to offer!Oh, goodness! Intense, with fire, smoke and a chili catch, but not overwhelming! Dying embers emitting fragrant campfire smoke, more smoke and more smoke before the jammy sweetness is back, paired with a light drying note. Oh, and it’s oily! Mouth-coating (and teeth-coating, too!), much more than the new 10yo Port Charlotte. Lots of fresh cask sweetness, but also pepper, chili pepper spiciness and light fruits – smoked mango and apricots. A small amount of water opens it up and accentuates the fruity/sweet notes. Oh, this is beautifully balanced! The long finish has a bit of a chili catch upon swallowing followed by, of course, peat smoke and fruits. A tad more dry than on the palate. The smoke seems to be everlasting – you don’t want to brush your teeth!
While the first edition of the 10 yo Octomore was met with mixed reviews (I’ve never tried it myself), this new edition is beyond doubt a cracking dram! Rich, extremely smoky – but not phenolic and medicinal – with a very good counterbalance by fruits, sweetness and spices.
The only downside is the very high price of about 180€ from what I’ve seen so far. Not a daily dram by price – but by taste. But then again, we’ve seen much higher prices for mediocre whiskies in the course of this year, so you actually get a really good dram for your money, if you decide to buy it. Or, since Christmas is around the corner, put it on your wishlist!
(Nose: 91 Palate: 91 Finish: 89)
Thanks to Bruichladdich for the sample!