A masterclass from Bruichladdich, with the 8.2 edition of their superb, super smoky Octomore.
All .2 releases in the Octomore range are treated to a wine maturation of some description, but this version further emphasises the wine cask character. The whisky is matured initially (for six years) in three different cask varieties: French Mourvedre, Sauternes and Austrian sweet wines. The Mourvedre is known for its full-bodied earthiness and intense fruitiness, whilst Sauternes is one of the most highly esteemed dessert wines in the world. The Austrian sweet wines possess a luscious mouthfeel and bright fruitiness.
After this first maturation, the whisky is finished for two years in Amarone casks, for an extra boost of spicy red wine fruits.
The whisky is peated to a level of 167ppm, which is actually quite tame compared to some Octomores, but nevertheless, by normal standards, this is a super-peaty dram.
The final result is stunning. Initial waves of thick, floral peat smoke greet the drinker, followed by flowing flavours of dried cranberries, raspberries, strawberry jam, toffee, vanilla, dark oak, sweet grapes, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and wine tannins. A charred oak note compliments the peat nicely, whilst a little typical Islay character creeps in towards the end, notes of sea spray, lemon peel and earth.
Bottled at 58.4% ABV, and without chill filtration or artificial colouration (as always with Bruichladdich), this is an intense and delicious whisky.
One of the finest Octomores yet.