Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery Bottling 70cl / 61.7%
Like their Port Charlotte Islay Barley, Bruichladdich's Octomore Edition 11.3 has been made entirely from locally-sourced barley. There's a few important differences as well, though: Octomore Edition 11.3 is aged for 5 years in first fill bourbon barrels rather than 6 years in a mix of casks, for starters.
But more importantly, there's the peating level - Octomore Edition 11.3 is not for the fainthearted at an extraordinary 194ppm! For reference, that's nearly ten times Caol Ila or Lagavulin, which are usually 18-25ppm. And finally there's the strength - where the Port Charlotte is bottled at an approachable 50% abv, this is bottled at a natural cask strength of 61.7%, so perhaps have a drop of water at hand just in case.
|Cask Type||First Fill Bourbon Casks|
Nose: Eight floral character on the nose, summery and bright. The peat smoke is slow to rise initially but comes through with a light touch, clean and dry and very much in the background. Lovely light floral notes and sweet citrus, with honey and vanilla, really holding everything together.
Palate: Texturally this dram has a fantastic presence on the palate, holding the high strength perfectly. A gentle sweetness, honey and fruit syrup arrive, orange blossom, apricot jam and again the floral bouquet all gentle soft notes are holding off the phenols, a testament to the distillation techniques to allow the character of our spirit to come through with being dominated by the high level of phenols.
Finish: Naturally the phenolic presence comes through on the finish, the floral notes fade and the dry smoke, earthy with dry grass comes through. Burnt heather, toffee and malt sugar all play a part in a complex long finish.
Character: Such a distinct expression of Octomore, so much of the flavour comes from the malted barley and the distillation. The distillation techniques allow us to slowly coax the flavours from the grain influenced so much by the location it is grown and truly express a unique flavour based on these fundamentals.