The latest radical expression, 07.4, was distilled from barley peated to 167ppm and matured in virgin oak. A first for Octomore.
In 2008 the distilling team quietly laid down another “what if?” project in the far corner of our 1845 Port Charlotte warehouses. What if they put 167ppm Octomore spirit into virgin oak casks? What would the combination of smoke-rich Octomore and sweet, honeyed vanilla derived from the great French oak forests of Allier produce?
This was uncharted territory, the first time that spirit distilled from Scottish malting barley and peated to these colossal levels had been matured in fresh wood. For seven years, the head distiller Adam Hannett carefully managed the heavyweight flavour profiles in play during the development of this uber-experimental dram – and he has now released just 12,000 bottles at 61.2% vol.
Uncharted territory. “do not go where the path may lead, go where there is no path and leave a trail”
Colour - Rich Chestnut
Nose - There is huge presence with this whisky, taking the cork from the bottle will unleash something unique. The room fills with the sweet, smoky aroma as the first glass is poured and you know this is the prelude to a whisky like no other. The smoke is powerful but tempered by sweet, rich oak, two heavyweights that complement each other - there is balance between them. As the whisky opens, the complexity and intensity of the virgin oak gives notes of dried fruit, raisin and apricot then toasted bread, chocolate orange, coffee, coconut, buttery vanilla. There is a hint of barbeque and pine needles along with more fruit, this time from the spirit – green apples and grapefruit with a dusting of cloves and cinnamon. It is captivating.
Palate - Prepare for an elevation in the octomore experience. As the first taste of 7.4 meets your taste buds the sensation is truly spectacular. The mouthfeel is rich and sumptuous then there is a detonation of flavour. Sweetness, peat smoke and the richness of toasted oak clamour for your attention as the warming strength of the spirit ignites. Wow! A drop of water will release exotic coconut and clove, lemon peel, caramel, turkish delight. Sweet orange blossom honey and more and more oak fill the palate, all of this is veiled in peat smoke, almost medicinal in its character it is peppered with sweet spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. The floral, fruity, style of Bruichladdich is evident through all the power of the oak and smoke reassuring us that we have not let this age too long in the intensity of the fresh oak casks.
Finish - True to our beliefs this distillation was slow and careful to ensure the texture and balance is perfect and this allows the flavour to last for an eternity. Honeysuckle and rose mingle with liquorice and clove, dried dates, apricots and honeyed vanilla released from the oak will slowly fade then the smoke will linger for an age competing with the sweetness of the oak for the last word on an unforgettable experience.