Bruichladdich Octomore 08.3 - 5 Year Old Islay Barley
70cl, 61.2% abv
The good people of Bruichladdich tell the tale of Octomore 8.3, 5 year old Islay barley thus... The autumn of 2010 was wet and windy. A late harvest saw Octomore farmer James Brown facing heavy losses from greylag geese and herds of wild red deer, resulting in a precious little yield. Malting this Octomore grain produced results that were unprecedented, the readings came back at 309.1ppm. The nature and variety of Octomore depends on far more than simply numbers, but these were staggering. Following a carefully controlled trickle distillation, this uber-provenance spirit was matured in 56% first fill Bourbon casks, the remaining in ex-Paulliac, Ventoux, Rhone and Burgundy casks. The Octomore 08.3 edition is the most heavily-peated Octomore to date. One farm, one field, one vintage . 56% full-term ex-Bourbon, 44% full-term European oak maturation. 18,000 bottles were filled at 61.2% abv.
Colour: Golden syrup.
Nose: Toasted oak and muddy/peaty smoke, bandages. Maple syrup, fresh linen, sea shells. Evokes a memory of lying in the heather on the peat moss, the warm sun coaxing the scent from the wild flowers. The fruit is cherry, peach and mango, with crème brulee.
Palate: Initially a surprise as the stellar level of peat is bitter and over-whelming. Another sip opens with up with cherry and peach and toasted sweet oak, dark chocolate, boot polish and seaweed. At this level the peat is like a thunder cloud, darkening the atmosphere. You can feel it in your bones.
Finish: Complex, crème brulee with caramelised brown sugar slightly overdone. Dark plum, orange and kiwi sit well with the malted barley sweetness. The peat smoke is a tremendous presence.