Octomore unveils ‘world’s most heavily peated’ whiskyBy Nicola Carruthers
Islay distillery Bruichladdich has launched what is thought to be the world’s most heavily peated single malt whisky within its new Octomore 8s Masterclass range.
The four-strong range is created from stratospherically peated Scottish barley, matured entirely in warehouses located on the western shores of Loch Indaal. Created by head distiller Adam Hannett, the range used the “absolute maximum count” of phenol parts per million (ppm) into the barley.
The range includes the Octomore 08.3 edition which is described as “the most heavily peated Octomore to date”, containing barley peated to 309ppm.
The limited release has been matured for five years in 56% first-fill Bourbon casks, with the remaining in ex-Pauliac, Ventoux, Rhone and Burgundy casks. On the nose, it has notes of “toasted oak and muddy/peaty smoke with bandages” as well as “maple syrup, fresh linen and sea shells”. It is bottled at 61.2% abv with only 18,000 bottles available.
The range also includes three eight-year-old expressions: Octomore 08.1, Octomore 08.2 and Octomore 08.4.
Octomore 08.1 is matured in first-fill American oak casks and bottled at 59.3% abv. Described as “classic and timely”, just 42,000 bottles are available.
The second in the range, Octomore 08.2, has been matured for six years in 2nd-fill Sauternes, French mourvèdre and Austrian sweet wine casks, vatted together. It then spends two years in first-fill Italian ex-amarone casks. It is described as “exotic, rich and fruity”. Bottled at 58.4% abv, just 36,000 bottles will be available exclusively in global travel retail.
While Octomore 08.4 has been matured with 20% in virgin oak casks and 80% in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks, before being transferred into European virgin oak that has previously held Octomore 07.4. Bottled at 57.7% abv, the expression has notes of “clove, aniseed and coffee grounds”. Only 12,000 bottles of the expression will be available.
In April 2015, Bruichladdich launched its final expression with master distiller Jim McEwan at the helm, Octomore 7.1 – which at the time was described as one of the most heavily peated in the range at 208ppm.