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Bruichladdich Distillery Island of Islay Scotland Whisky from 100 to 200 euros

Octomore 12.1

Review of the first bottling in Bruichladdich's latest high peated series

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 59.9%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon first fill
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Bruichladdich (Rèmy Cointreau)
Average price: € 160.00
Official website: www.bruichladdich.com
Vote: 88/100

First release of the twelfth incarnation of Octomore, Bruichladdich’s über peated whisky which, as always, is released in several numbered editions (three to four), in some cases culminating in a version with a declared maturity of ten years.
Released in July 2021, the first bottling serves, as Head Distiller Adam Hannett explains, “as a necessary control for the rest of the series, as it experiments within an experiment”, maturing for five years in ex-Bourbon casks only, unlike the later versions which, starting from the same base, diverge in maturation (with the 12.3 made from local barley).
130.8 ppm (for what it’s worth as information), harvested from 2014 Inverness Concerto barley distilled the following year and bottled at cask strength.

Tasting notes

As Octomore has accustomed us to, all those ppm doesn’t translate into a monstrous peat as much as a gentler olfactory profile, where roasted malt meets herbaceous tones and hints of pine wood. Yellow fruit and light citric veins frame wholemeal brioche, vanilla and marzipan, while on the length it becomes sharper and more mineral. Alcohol not present.
More exuberant on the palate, where the alcohol content is present but not invasive, on a creamy and slightly spicy body that emphasises fruit (apricot, melon, peach) and honey, with intrusions of grapefruit and damp herbaceous notes, between hay and mushrooms. Sparkling lemon candy. Along the length, toasted malt and puffs of smoke, with the ever-present underlying minerality acting as a trait d’union, accompanied by a patina of salt.
Long, saline finish of toasted wood, banana chips, lemon tart, herbs.

The debut of this new series confirms Octomore’s tradition of solid, elegant whiskies, where the potentially explosive mix of youth and high peat component is defused by the skilful use of casks and the shoulder of a distillate with great personality.

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