Octomore 7.2 – Single Malt Scotch Whisky | 58.5% (117 Proof)
Color/Appearance: Pale gold. Pretty good color for something only five years old. Plus this being a mix of first-fill ex-bourbon casks and first-fill Syrah French red wine casks, some reddish tint was expected. I wonder what those Syrah casks tasted like on their own. Yum. These x.2 releases are unfortunately travel retail only, but a few European retailers do get some bottles here and there. Lets see if was worth sending this bottle half way around the world so I can taste it. Oh before we do that can I take a moment to mention how amazing this bottle looks. When you pull this out of the cabinet for someone they know instantly that they are in for something kind of unique experience. The black bottle and its cool super modern graphic design really set this bottle apart from all others. Plus it has all that nice geeky info, like that the barley used was peated to 208 ppm.
Nose: Bright citrus with lemon and lime, vegetal peat, tar, ash, a small brush fire, faint flowers but not “flowery”, ozone, damp cement basement, sour milk. It has this duality to it, where the bright fresh notes ride on top, and beneath lie dark secrets. Works for me.
Palate: Massive attack. This is truly a peat bomb. Cranberries, raspberries, tarmac, gravel, yet its also somehow custardy. Which I find such a great flavor note. When smoky whiskies have those cream or custard notes I really love them. Underneath all the youthful power and massively peated barley there is a delicately expressive Bruichladdich spirit that is still clearly heard. Can I say it tastes like bracing wind? Probably not, but I just did.
Finish: Sweet, salty, lemon drop candy, berries, cigar smoke, ends dry with some almost numbness from the massive smoky blast your mouth gets with each sip.
Overall: I was hoping for more influence from the wine casks but I ended up being glad because the Islay character was allowed to shine in its proper leading role with subtle berries and lift from the wine casks acting in a supporting role. I really like this bottle. I love peat and this fulfills all my needs when I am craving a dram with some. Coastal brash smoky Islay with sophisticated cask blending and a great base spirit. It may be expensive for its age but I think this is a great Octomore release. Ordering Octomore from Europe seems like the way to go. I have generally seen pricing enough below US prices to justify the extra cost in shipping. Plus then you can pick up bottles like this along with other interesting Europe only releases.