~£115.00 From Travel Retail or if you’re quick here
Biiiiig time Islay nose. Pork crackling roasting on a BBQ. Bacon butties, with fatty, burnt to a crisp bacon and BBQ sauce. Fields covered in freshly cut grass drying out on a hot summers day. Heather in the background. Some liquorice sticks. Quite a bit of herbal in this Octomore, it’s reminding me of iodised throat tablets. A touch of TCP. There’s a large quantity of meatiness. Already well picked up upon in the trademark BBQ pork products, but there is also some roast chicken, speared with rosemary, stuffed with fennel and baked till crispy. In the deep and distant background, and with added time there is some honey sweetness glaze and maybe a hint of red apples and berries.
Wow…bang…zoom. Hold on. Gotta rethink this and come back, lots of complexity to put down in one sip (or it’s an excuse for several sips. :)). This is a mind overload of intensity. Ok, third attempt. Arrival is sweet smoke bonfire explosives, then boom, the ABV takes over for a bit, settles and development goes to smokey fruit. Lots of red fruits, jam, summer orchard berry pie filling. Raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, stewed red apples. Loads of bellowing smoke. A fire of some magnificence, with cigarette ash, heather fields ablaze, liquorice roots added, some various herbs and spices. Vicious delicious.
The fruity ash notes stick around for a very long time. Some malted barley lingers in the back of the throat with all the smoke intensity. After about 30 seconds or more things start to calm and I’m left with strawberry/blackberry fruit roll (those concentrated jammy fruit chew/sweets made to look like health food) and a puff on a cigarette!
Adding a wee dollop of water. The smoke on the nose has gone more floral and heathery now, there is slightly more access to the fruit elements, but they truly reign in in the flavour as the palate has become very intensely fruity, there is still the heavy peat smoke lingering, but the fruit is in more control, and luscious for it, paired up with the Octomore oiliness this is truly an experience and a half. The finish retains more smoke now, we still have the fruit, but the peat fires and smoke are big in this diluted finish.
Another Octomore experience. That’s the thing about Octomore, it truly is an experience. And all of them are so very very fulfilling and adventurous. I said at the beginning I love Octomore, nothing has changed with this bottling, it’s fantastic stuff. Octomore is quite the marmite of a dram for most. For me, I love marmite, but I bloody love Octomore more.
Thanks so much to Bruichladdich for providing the sample.