An absolute belter of a heavily peated single malt whisky, Octomore 8.3 is one of the peatiest whiskies ever made.
This whisky is made entirely with barley grown on the Isle of Islay. Moreover, this is a whisky that illustrates Bruichladdich’s belief in terroir, with the barley being sourced from “one farm, one field, one vintage”.
The story of this dram gives a sense the difficulties facing farmers in this part of the world. Octomore 8.3 is made with barley grown in the 2010 harvest, an especially difficult year for Islay agriculture, with deer, geese and wet and wild weather producing a very small yield of crop for the year.
This whisky is peated to an extraordinary 309ppm, the peatiest Octomore ever, and surely the peatiest whisky in the world thus far. It was distilled in 2011, and aged for 5 years in 56% former Bourbon American oak casks, and 44% ex-wine casks from Paulliac, Ventoux, Rhone and Burgundy.
The result is an unbelievably powerful and peaty whisky. Patience reveals notes of barbequed peaches, sour cherries, dark chocolate, seaweed, dark smouldering oak, espresso, sea spray, raspberry jam and fizzy vanilla.
The flavours are allowed to really assert themselves, as this dram has been bottled at a phenomenal 61.2% ABV, and without either chill filtration or artificial colouration.
As ever with Octomore, the presentation matches the quality of the spirit, with a delightful gold accented black tube and frosted-glass bottling.