Time for the next Octomore Trio. Last week we reviewed the 9.1/10.1/11.1 trio and we’re moving on to the x.2 series.
Octomore x.2 series incorporates wine casks usage and used to be available exclusively at Travel Retail stores . Due to Covid19 pandemic, the last one, Octomore 11.2, is available exclusively at Bruichladdich distillery webshop as TR venues weren’t a viable distribution channel. So what wine casks were used for this trio? Have a look at this list:
- Octomore 9.2 is 5 Year Old: 4 Years in American Oak and 1 Year in Bordeaux, peated to 156ppm.
- Octomore 10.2 is 8 Year Old: 4 Year in First Fill American oak and 4 Years in Sauternes wine casks, peated to a extremely lower level of ‘just’ 96.9ppm.
- Octomore 11.2 is peated to 139.6 ppm, part was fully matured in Pauillac ex-red wine casks and part was matured in a combination of ex-American whiskey casks and St Julien ex-red wine casks.
Octomore 9.2 5 Year Old (58.2%, 156ppm,€139.50)
Nose: Started weird (for an Octomore), it’s smoky and not peated, at first at least. Chimney and cigar smoke, dry tannins. But then the Bordeaux takes over with peat smoke in the background, red berries, nuts, raspberry and strawberry – and staying gentle and airy all the time. One of the least intense Octomore noses I encountered.
Palate: Sour sweet red berries, cherries, hard candies, and then peat and smoke, honey, BBQ meat, brine, cigar smoke, long espresso, very creamy and harmonious, kind like everything is in backseat and not overpowering.
Finish: Medium long length, lingering sweet peat and red berries with cherries, smoke, again very laid back.
In a nutshell: Bordeaux casks tamed the smoke.
Octomore 10.2 8 Year Old (56.9%, 96.9ppm, €124.50)
Nose: Sweet, smoky, fruity with raspberries and cranberries, jammy and sugary, richer and thicker than 9.2. Purple plums, wood smoke, floral sweetness, sweet wood extracts (Because it’s 8 yo, reminds me rums). With a few drops of water it’s fruitier, less intense, more red berries (of the fresh kind) and less smoke, keep the floral tinge.
Palate: Sweet burnt wood, peat smoke paste, raspberries and cherries jam, oak spice. With water more or less the same but less intense, burnt wood, fresh red berries, sweet wood extracts and chocolate.
Finish: Medium long length, sweet, wood, smoke, paste, raspberry. With water, more smoke and more fresh berries and some chocolate.
In a nutshell: Good but comes with extra wood driven flavours due to the extra years.
Octomore 11.2 5 Year Old (58.6%, 139.6ppm, £140)
Nose: Winey with tannins, red berries, mostly strawberry with some raspberries, soft smoke, brine, cured meat, smoke/peat almost docile, soft nose with structure not far off 9.2 with the gentle and airy feeling. After a while there’s a fixture of smoked meat in strawberry and milk chocolate sauce – smells tasty.
Palate: Smoky and soft, then cured meat, ashes and tar, getting more intense by the second, strawberries with a spoon of black raspberry jam, honey, more meat and ashes.
Finish: Medium long length, soft ashes, honey, strawberries and raspberries, sweetened meat scraps.
In a nutshell: Truly an ex-red wine Octomore.
Thoughts: This time the differences were noticeable as expected from using different wine casks. Octomore 10.2 is also a bit aged comparing to the other two and the (sweet) wood impact is strong, a bit strong for my taste, But if you like that kind of flavor, look no further as it’s a beast. The other two (9.2 and 11.2) are more similar, both sporting ex-red wine casks. The 9.2 with merely a year in Bordeaux casks while 11.2 spent more time in wine casks. Hard to decide which one is better but I think I’ll go with 9.2 due to the gentle and laid back approach but I may be splitting hairs here as tomorrow I may go with 11.2.