Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evening shifted from Port Charlotte to the mighty Octomore expression!
In this case from their travel retail line, matured in American oak casks and casks which previous held Syrah wine. I believe it was released late 2015 and picked it up in Singapore in 2016.
The whisky was sampled in three sessions:
- Initially with the Whisky Ladies with a freshly opened bottle
- Then a mini Whisky Ladies session with two who missed our main night
- Followed by our original Mumbai tasting group who had all whiskies completely blind before the reveal
What did the Whisky Ladies think?
- Waves of sweat peat, nutty chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg
- Mild menthol, deceptive as the peat becomes quite restrained – almost minimalist, creamy, a bit antiseptic, sinus clearing like horseradish, dark chocolate, molasses
- Incredibly smooth, remarkable how there can be so much peat swirling about and yet not a single harsh note, there is passion but… no rough jagged edges
- Simply delicious! Chocolate, cinnamon, so smooth….
- Finish – Lingers, long yet restrained – more like the echo of sweet peat
For the Whisky Ladies, I introduced Bruichladdich’s brand ambassador Murray’s “trick” to enjoying whisky in Asian heat… out came a few glasses filled to the brim with ice then topped up with water.
A few shots of ice cold water to cool the mouth and then a sip of Octomore – sublime! Silky smooth, gentles and smooths the peat without subduing the seductive quality – I do believe the expression “Sex on toast” was mentioned. It brought out ice cream, floral, prunes with the peat becoming quite shy – there but holding back.
And our original underground Mumbai whisky club?
- Nose – Peaty, heather, honey sweetness, marigold flowers or nasturtiums, incense, pipe tobacco, after opening more green apples and pears, shifting between subtle peat, floral and fruity elements
- Palate – Very sweet, so incredibly smooth, thick body, incredibly balanced with the smoke, sweet flower and fruit with a light salt coming together in harmony
- Finish – Initially bitter, then sweet vanilla on the back of the tongue, shifting between leather and honey
- After a shot of ice water – Red velvet, salty caramel, sweet spice
With the reveal, it was impossible to believe a peat level of PPM 208. If anything the Port Charlotte 12 seemed to have more of a peat swagger or ‘punch’ at a paultry PPM 40. There was no doubt this was a stellar whisky of exceptional craft. Just as it was no surprise we polished off the last drop!
For the original group, this whisky closed our evening. We reflected back on the range and could see a thread of bitter sweet common to all with each having depth and character. There was no doubt of the tremendous care and craft that went into each creation… and we found it overall very impressive.
And for the ladies? Our night was yet to close! We moved on to contrast the Octomore 07.2 with the 07.1…
What do the folks over at Bruichladdich have to say?
- Character – Enigmatic. Defiant. Forget what you thought you knew.
- Colour – Liquid gold.
- Nose – Golden syrup, smoke and red berry fruits to begin. The gentle smoke weaves through poached pear and apple pie from the distillation with the ripe fruits from the cask, red berries peach and apricot. As you inhale deeper, delicate floral notes unclouded by the smoke are released heather, lilies and orange blossom.
- Palate – The combination of sweet fruits and smoke is classic Octomore. Huge levels of peat sit in perfect balance with the flavours released from the cask. Add a drop or two of water and we get cherry, bramble, strawberry from the Syrah casks; cinder toffee, brown sugar, honey and crème brulee from the American oak burst through. You can feel and taste the rewards of our patience – slow trickle distillation provides the soft silky texture that coats your mouth and releases wave after wave of the soft fruit and floral fragrance.
- Finish – As lemon zest, red fruit and vanilla oak fades away the deep smoke lingers, a potent reminder of the strength and character of Islay.
- Mood – To be enjoyed in good company. Pour another dram. Everything else can wait….
Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evenings also featured:
- No Peat – The Classic Laddie 50% vs The Laddie Eight 50%
- No Peat – Bere Barley 2008 50%
- Heavy Peat – Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 8 years 57.8%
- Heavy Peat – Port Charlotte 12 Oileanach Furachail 58.7%
- Insanely Heavy Peat – Octomore 07.1 5 years 208 PPM 59.5%
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