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It’s fortunate spherical 13 for Octomore — the undisputed most closely peated whisky in common manufacturing — with once more three varieties in launch. Like 12.2, the sherry-aged Octomore 13.2 might be basically retail as a substitute of obligation free solely, so be happy to hop right down to your native service provider to ask for an allocation.
We tried all three bottles on a energetic Zoom tasting with head distiller Adam Hannett, and a set of Scottish and U.S.-born snacks designed to suss out which paired greatest with every of the three whiskies. I gained’t delve in depth into the pairings — spoiler: they’re all great — however will inform you what I assumed in regards to the spirits. Let’s go.
Bruichladdich Octomore 13.1 – 5 years outdated (as traditional), bourbon-barreled, and peated to 137.8ppm of phenols. Distilled in 2016 from a 2015 harvest of Scottish barley. No surprises right here, as this launch hits as very sharp and ashy on the nostril, punchy with the notes of an enormous bonfire that’s been piled excessive with evergreen branches. The palate tempers the smoke a bit with notes of fruit, lemon and apple, oily and mashed into oblivion, then transferring into a really briny end that evokes smoked kippers and iodine, lingering nearly perpetually. All advised, there’s no scarcity of smoke within the expertise from begin to end, making for a reasonably typical and conventional expression of this traditional whisky, for higher or worse. Water’s a plus right here. 118.4 proof. B+ / $220
Bruichladdich Octomore 13.2 – No ending right here, this whisky spends its full life in first fill oloroso sherry butts, 5 years in complete. 137.3 ppm, additionally distilled in 2016 from Scottish barley. Octomore x.2 releases are at all times completed in wine casks, however this one’s totally aged in sherry, altering this system a bit. The colour is darker and far more opulent, and the distinction is instantly obvious on the nostril. Right here, smoke and intense notes of orange peel meld with leather-based, spice, and bacon fats to create an immersive fragrant expertise. Citrus-heavy sweetness strikes the palate first, adopted by a salty, iodine-laced character, plus some sharper hints of lime leaf. Chocolatey and toasty on the end, ringing with cigar tobacco — smoking and in any other case. The sherry modifications the story right here utterly, with pleasant influence. 116.6 proof. A- / $260
Bruichladdich Octomore 13.3 – Distilled in 2016 from the 2015 harvest of 100% Octomore Farm-grown Concerto barley, then matured for five years in a mixture of first fill bourbon and second fill European oak barrels — a slight shift on the same old method, which is usually bourbon solely. 129.3 ppm. A lot hotter than the 13.1, however surprisingly far more well-rounded, with much less overt smoke and ash and a a lot stronger fruit character on the nostril, showcasing lemon and orange peel, however not almost as sharply because the 13.2 bottling. Fruit strikes into nutty nougat on the palate, knowledgeable by a moderated seaside bonfire character — smoke and salt and seaweed all in a swirl. The general composition is extra iconic Octomore than both of the opposite two releases on this sequence and a traditional illustration of Islay turned as much as 11. I like 13.2 for its uniqueness, however these on the lookout for one thing proper consistent with custom will discover this on level. 122.2 proof. A- / $300