Octomore OBA is not a normal Octomore release. In fact you could say it’s kind of a foster child of the family. It’s wasn’t released as a member of the annual series nor did it get any official numerical assignment (x.1 to x.4) but instead it was a separate release with irregular bottle size (which delayed the release).
It’s the Octomore version of the Black Art series (hence the OBA naming), 10 wine casks matured Octomore spirit with a secret recipe. Although Bruichladdich preaches transparency, when it comes to Black Art releases, the leaps are sealed. All we know that it’s a vatting of 10 casks from four different vintages with the youngest vintage hailing from 2008 so it’s a 8-9 years old whisky. What else do we know? that there are six different cask types and all from a single barley strain.
Octomore OBA Concept (59.7%)
Nose: Smoke and sweet honey at first, followed by vanilla and red wine, solid earthy peat, whole black pepper, red fruit, grapes, tannins but it’s pretty rich with dry smoke. After a while it’s smoky sweet red wine with some tannins, smoked meat, getting flatter with time and oxygen.
Palate: Smoke and earthy peat, a bit harsher, cured meat, BBQ sauce, bitter oak spices, cinnamon, very gentle bitterness at the end, sweet red wine and dry smoke.
Finish: Medium long finish, gentle and settled, oldish whisky behavior, dried red berries, red wine, sharper peat smoke and oak spices
Thoughts: Good thing it’s a concept whisky. It’s a matured whisky for Octomore as it’s 8-9 years old comparing to the usual 5 years, but i found it uninspiring. For me it’s missing the extra x-factor ingredient that transform it into a good Octomore. This omission caused the whisky to feel unbalanced and with jarred harmony. Still a nice whisky but not for that price for a 500 ml bottle.