Tag Archives: Bruichladdich

Octomore Trios Part 3 (Octomore 9.3, Octomore 10.3 & Octomore 11.3)

I had drifted again but still there’s time for a review of the next Octomore trio. We reviewed the 9.1/10.1/11.1 trio and 9.2/10.2/11.2 trio and now it’s the x.3 series turn.

Octomore x.3 series is more similar to the x.1 series but it focus on local barley grown in the Octomore farm. Like x.1 series it’s all ex-bourbon casks with slightly different age and PPM:

  • Octomore 9.3 is 5 Year Old, peated to 133ppm.
  • Octomore 10.3 is 6 Year Old, peated to 114ppm.
  • Octomore 11.3 is 5 Year Old and is peated to 194 ppm.

Octomore 9.3 5 Year Old (58.2%, 133ppm, 160)

Nose: Sweet smoke, perfume, farmy, hay, fields, cattle, honey, coals smoke, wildfire smoke, fumes, peaches and melon, vanilla. Continue reading

Octomore Trios Part 2 (Octomore 9.2, Octomore 10.2 & Octomore 11.2)

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.

Octomore Trios Part 1 (Octomore 9.1, Octomore 10.1 & Octomore 11.1)

Working on the stockpile of bottles and notes I’ve accumulated and not published (mostly in the last year, “thanks” to Covid19) and noticed I’m seriously lagging behind with Bruichladdich – I have tons of them waiting to be published. So here’s to a few Laddie posts but to make it interesting, let’s start with some head to head (to head) Octomore comparisons while we’re at it – should be interesting to see the differences between them, no?

Let’s start with the Octomore x.1 series. A wee reminder: the x.1 series is the Scottish barley matured in American Oak casks (A.K.A bourbon casks). There could be differences between the releases as we don’t know the ratio between 1st fill and refill casks. Today we have the three to compare today but the only surefire difference we can gleam from the official data sheets is the PPM level:

  • Octomore 9.1 is peated to 156ppm
  • Octomore 10.1 is peated to a lower level of ‘just’ 107ppm
  • Octomore 11.1 is peated to 139.6 ppm (seriously? not a rounded number?)

They are all 5 Year Old whiskies and the ABV is very similar between the releases, on the range between 59.1% and 59.8%. For Octomore 9.1 and Octomore 10.1 there were 42,000 bottles and for Octomore 11.1 “only” 30,000 bottles were produced.

OK, that’s enough foreplay, lets go ahead and try that trio:

Octomore 9.1 5 Year Old (59.1%, 156ppm, £125.95/€124.99)

Nose: It starts a bit on the spirity side, then explodes with sweet peat, honey and floral side, also some tar in the background, pears. smooth and very rich. After a while there’s a floral edge to the nose, initially a bit soapy but thankfully it went away, the floral edge become perfumed and there’s Lavender and Patchouli as well and eventually cured meat and smoked meat with green melon. Continue reading

Port Charlotte OLC:01

Last month, just a few days after releasing online exclusive Port Charlotte 16 Year Old for the virtual Fèis Ìle festival, came the next member in the PC cask exploration series, the Port Charlotte OLC:01.

We had MC:01 and MRC:01 (Marsala and Bordeaux respectively) and now comes the OLC:01 a 9 Year Old Port Charlotte which was distilled in 2010 and bottled earlier this year after being finished in Oloroso Hogsheads.

This is a major release with 30,000 bottles (at 55.1%) in circulation so it’s wildly available if you want to buy one after reading the review.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte OLC:01 (55.1%, £90/€96.90)

Nose: Potent and lively, sweet smoke drifts, peat, dried red berries, vanilla, lactic note that disappeared after a few minutes, honey. After left to rest for a few minutes some smoked meat, cured meat, also maltiness and if you wield some wild imagination you could smell there haggis in berries sauce. After a few more minutes more sherry sweetness, more dried fruits and it’s nicely balanced. With a few drops of water the peat is tamed and there’s even more sweet fruits. Continue reading

Dramfool Port Charlotte 14 Year Old Feis Ile 2019

Is it time to review some Feis Ile 2019 whiskies? Sure it is, there’s no official season to review specific whiskies…

Let’s start with an indie bottling for Feis Ile 2019 done by Dramfool and it’s a 14 Year Old Port Charlotte in first fill Sherry hogshead which was personally selected for Ian Gray (the Scottish artist) by Jim McEwan (back when Jim was still at Bruichladdich).

299 bottles at 53.4% were produced from this cask

Dramfool Port Charlotte 14 Year Old Feis Ile 2019 (53.4%, £135)

Nose: Sweet and leathery, dried sour and sweet berries and plums (mirabelles and purple), cigar leaves, cherries filled chocolate, earthy peat, smoke. Wt dark chocolate, old library shelves, old leather and aged cigar. Continue reading

Octomore 8.4 Masterclass Review

It’s a very slow Sunday here so I think it’s a good time to review a punchy whisky to wake up the spirit and eventually I settled on some heavily peated whisky. Yes you guessed right – an Octomore. I have a few of those ready to be published so let’s review Octomore 8.4 today. I know it’s not a recent release (we already have the 9.x series out there for a while and the 10.x series coming soon) but since it’s still available out there for purchase, why not?

It’s the x.4 designation and it means that Otomore 8.4 is matured in virgin oak casks. But it’s not so simple or straight forward. Pay attention: 20% were matured in virgin oak casks and 80% were matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks and then finished in second-fill virgin oak but those second-fill casks are in fact the Octomore 7.4 virgin oak casks! So even if it’s 8 years old, it should retain some of the Phenols as the barley was peated to 170ppm and we don’t have 100% turbo charged casks to suck all the Phenols.

Octomore 8.4 (Masterclass) (58.7%, £150/€148)

Nose: Vanilla and lemon, very sweet. Coconut and sweet oak extracts, sweet peat, even a bit aggressive peat. seaside air and saltiness. After a few minutes there’s also sweet smoke, brine, vinegar and spiciness led by cloves and cinnamon. Continue reading

Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1 1990 26 Year Old Review

A while ago I’ve posted the new Bruichladdich Black Art 7.1 label over the blog facebook page (right here – I recommend liking and following the page for more content!) and it’s about time I’ll post my review for the previous member in the series, the Black Art 6.1 which was released last year.

As usual, we don’t know anything about the casks used to create the Black Art whisky (a tradition starting back with the first Black Art created by Jim Mcewan) but we do know it uses wine casks and that 18,000 bottles at 46.9% were released to the market.

Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1 1990 26 Year Old (46.9%, £290/269,95)

Nose: Soft and rich, winey with tannins, raisins and figs, dried red fruit with lots of blackberries, almonds and hazelnuts chocolate, honey and nutmeg, very velvety. Continue reading

Port Charlotte 10 Year Old Heavily Peated Review

The peated Port Charlotte whisky (from Bruichladdich distillery) is a fan favorite, very much liked just like the ultra-peated Octomores. I’ve had my share of previous official Port Charlotte limited editions and of course many independent bottlings (which I must add that many of them are excellent) But I was looking forward this kind of release, a core line-up release.

This Port Charlotte 10 Year Old was released last May and is the first on-going and permanent release of age-statement carrying Port Charlotte bottling and while I’m late in reviewing it, it kinda beat the alternative which is finishing the bottle without publishing a review.

Port Charlotte 10 Year Old Heavily Peated (50%, £48.95/€49,99)

Nose: Very smoky, blobs of vanilla and honey, then comes the BBQ meat with dripping sauce and coal smoke. The nose is quite sweet with sweet earthy peat and some sweetened bread. Greenery and fruitiness blossoms after a short while and smoke becomes drier. Continue reading

Port Charlotte 2001 15 Year Old Dramfool (For Feis Ile 2018) Review

Along with the 2011 Octomore reviewed yesterday, Dramfool also bottled a 2011 Port Charlotte for (Islay Whisky Festival 2018 (Also known as Feis Ile).

You may ask yourself how is it a 15 Year old and not 16/17 Year old, but that Ex-bourbon Hogshead (#0847) was in fact bottled December 2016 by previous owner before Dramfool snagged them a yeat later to be released now.

The hogshead yielded 195 bottles at 58.3%, no chill-filtered and natural colored.

Port Charlotte 2001 15 Year Old Dramfool (58.3%, £95)

Nose: Sweet peat (and lactic at first), vanilla and a dash of honey, sweet cured white fish meat, lots of salt. With water it opens up, some herbs, greener fruits and smoke. The peat is strong in this one. Continue reading

Octomore 2011 6 Year Old Dramfool (For Feis Ile 2018) Review

It’s really been a long time without an Octomore review on here, ah? A whole month has passed! 🙂

Truthfully I didn’t think another Octomore review will come out so soon but we’re closing on Feis Ile 2018 and some interesting Islay whiskys pop out.

Today I’m checking out a new Octomore from Dramfool, a Scottish independent bottler, released for Islay Whisky Festival 2018 which is also known as Feis Ile 2018 but the ‘Feis Ile’ term is now trademarked so Islay Whisky Festival it is in our case.

It’s a 150 ppm 6 year old Octomore (2011 vintage) from ex-bourbon Hogshead #4552/2011 that was filled for Simon Coughlin, Bruichladdich CEO at the time. Total of 253 bottles were produced from that Hogshead at a whopping 62%.

Octomore 2011 6 Year Old Dramfool (Islay Festival 2018) (62%, £160)

Nose: Crisp and well defined, sweet vanilla, sweet peat, It’s sweet but it’s not cloying or a dominating sweetness. Instead it’s more like gentle cake sugar icing sweetness. No smoke so far, but it does gets fruity after a few minutes: apricots with hints of floral perfume . With a few drops of water it’s on a new level of fruitiness with more apricots, green mango and papaya and becomes more perfumey. Continue reading