Octomore 8.1 Masterclass (Scottish Barley) Review

Currently we’re having here a short spell of rainy days and a bit colder weather (unfortunately just a bit) which is refreshing to have in April after yet another too dry winter. Let’s use the occasion to check out a heavily peated whisky, Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1.

This Octomore 8.1 is peated to 167 ppm level, was distilled in 2008 using only Scottish barley. The casks used for this expressions are all first fill american oak casks. According to Bruichladdich casks from Buffalo Trace, Clermont Springs, Four Roses, Heaven Hill & Jack Daniels were used here and the long list explains how 42,000 bottles were made.

Octomore 8.1 Masterclass (Scottish Barley) (59.3%, £109)

Nose: Soft smoke, creamy with vanilla and fruitiness, green melon (that weakens over time), orange orchard, pastry and almonds and more fruit sweetness after a few minutes.

Palate: Peat smoke, a burst of sweet fruitiness, green melon, pears and apricots, pepper, oak spices, dry at the end.

Finish: Medium length, spicy, peat smoke, then after the peat note recedes there’s sweet fruitiness and dry smoke.

Thoughts: Mellower then the 7.1 but it also spent 3 more years in the casks comparing to 7.1. It’s lighter and gentler with lots of fruitiness and mellow peat smoke. I’d say it’s more of a spring time whisky than winter whisky.

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