In 2008, the distilling team at Bruichladdich quietly laid down another “what if?” project in the far corner of their 1845 Port Charlotte warehouses. “What if we put 167ppm Octomore spirit into virgin oak casks? What would the combination of smoke-rich Octomore and sweet, honeyed vanilla derived from the great French oak forests of Allier produce?”
This was uncharted territory, the first time that spirit distilled from Scottish malting barley and peated to these colossal levels had been matured in fresh wood. For seven years, head distiller Adam Hannett carefully managed the heavyweight flavour profiles in play during the development of this uber-experimental dram – and he has now released just 12,000 bottles at 61.2% vol!
BUY IT NOW!
Nose: Rich, complex and gourmet with peat (obviously), smoke (obviously²), vanilla & coconut flan topped with caramel sauce, honeycomb, dried apricots, toasted wood, sweet spices and some pleasant nuttiness.
Palate: Once you go past the gourmet peat & smoke hurricane, this new Octomore reveals an extensive array of more subtle flavours: Wherther’s Original, herbal honey, vanilla, dried fruits, sweet spices and bee wax lead the way to some delicious orange blossom, licorice and sweetened condensed milk.
Definitely a hell of a powerful dram, showing some pleasant sweetness at the same time (hence my headline “an iron fist in a velvet glove” which on its own perfectly describes this expression). Perfectly balanced and complex, I actually really appreciated the French oak (no, not only because it’s French…) influence that should appeal to die-hard Cognac gurus.
Finish: Please take a seat, that may take a while…
PSSST! Find the recipe here! [French-speaking material :o]