To recap: /u/xile_ (his real name, really) had us all over for a mystery lineup. I brought brownies. That’s really not useful to the review. Well, I didn’t have them until the whiskies were done, and drank tons of water between each dram. Maybe that’s useful. Oh, and all of the whiskies were poured blind. xile_ bet I’d get two right. I showed him and got none right. That’ll show him.
“Don’t stick dick in hot coffee” With that announcement, we started our review of this whisky.
Frankly, at this point, we should have taken a break. I’m having a great time, and I don’t think my previous reviews suffered, however it was during this review that I made mistakes.
So many mistakes that I went back and re-reviewed Bruichladdich Octomore 08.3 prior to posting. I went through my previous notes with a clear tongue after a dinner of bland porridge. Alright, there was a little maple syrup in the porridge, but I’m not a monster, alright?
But why did I make this mistake? Well, we all thought that Bruichladdich Octomore 08.3, being from the .3 part of the Octomore line, which is the local Islay barley part, would be strong. Why? Because while the rest of the line varies in PPM, they recently have stayed close to the “standard” 168ish PPM of peat. That’s still a butt ton of peat.
However the .3 line, in addition to being made with local Islay barley, has been creeping up. This one is the highest I’ve had, at 309 ppm. To put that in perspective, Ardbeg, which can clear a room of those fearful of rubber adverse people, is 55 ppm (supposedly).
None the less, I’m glad I had the extra sample from someone to double check. So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Number of Bottles: 18,000
Cask Types: 56% full-term ex-Bourbon, 44% full-term European oak
Colour: 10Y 9/6
Nose: Pear, peach, Oreos, bacon fat, peat
Two things that should have immediately told me this was Octomore: Oreos and bacon fat. Granted I was inebriated. Going back to my bottle of 6.3, it’s there too.
This one seems a bit lighter though? Don’t know why that is. I like the addition of fruit though.
Taste: Peat, butter tarts, chocolate, peach pie, tarragon, algae/brine
So we have butter, both in that baked, pastry way and in that caramel way (yeah, I’m dying young, don’t be so happy about it). However, this isn’t just smoked bake goods.
There’s some chocolate notes, some herbal aspects, and just a bit of brine and vegetal. That may throw you off. Frankly, it’s an odd mix, like eating main course and dessert at the same time. I enjoy it, though perhaps I’m used to eating desserts and swimming in a lake, so I’m fine with algae on my tongue with a butter tart.
Finish: Butter, anise, cumin, oak, lime, brown sugar, white raspberry
Buttery, some anise, and then some heat and more spice. The finish is where I get the European oak. Had trouble picking it out originally.
Conclusion: So do you like a ton of peat? Then you’ll like Octomore. So far, of the (sadly) lacklustre Octomore 8 series, this is the one I’d recommend. I didn’t pick up enough of the peat originally, due to whisky overload, yet on second pour I can say it’s still quite strong.
If you’re a fan of older Lagavulin, then this will be close, though with less smooth peat and more brash elements. It has the baked goods aspect going, with all of the butter. The main thing going against it is the taste having those herbal and savoury aspects mixed in with sweets. If you can get past that, then you’ll enjoy it.
Guess: 20 year Lagavulin?
Actually: Bruichladdich Octomore 08.3
Scotch review #973, Islay review #262, Whisky Network review #1530