We often say Islay people are stubborn, resolute, practical. One step over from mainland civilisation, we pride ourselves on having a certain degree of logic and reasoning. But despite the pillars of our business being built on an Islay product, people and process, there’s little logic applied to our Octomore series. From the numbering system to how the characteristics translate to flavour, it is obtuse, enigmatic, even challenging.
.1, .2, .3, .4, 167ppm, 308ppm, 60.3%abv, 5yo, 8yo, 10yo, these alone are enough to isolate the novice from the world’s most heavily peated single malt series. You could argue that only those who have pushed beyond and joined the cult following of these beguiling products have earned the satisfaction of ‘knowing’.
On paper, the characteristics should not work. A youthful edge, super-heavy peat, upwards of 59% alcohol, there’s a huge risk of these whiskies being one dimensional, of them only being about the phenol level. And yet, after years of taming this spirit, we hope upon hope that this is not the case, that even followers themselves no longer rest their opinion solely on the PPM.
As the creators, we believe Octomore stimulates debate. It challenges the established preconceptions of single malt Scotch. It polarises opinion. Whether you’re for or against it, it’s surprising and has the ability to teach you something, even if that is what you don’t like. It’s an experience, beyond just a spirit in a glass.
We’ve taken a stab at explaining our take on Octomore. A three part series will be revealed in due course. But don’t just take our biased word for it. We want your take. We’re theoretically flinging open the floodgates, ready for your pure uncensored, honest opinion. It is equal parts thrilling and terrifying!
Tell us your favourite. Your worst. But more interestingly, tell us your take on the ideal age, the ideal peating level, with water or without, wood type, occasion. This conversation in itself is what keeps an otherwise dusty industry ALIVE.
Comment below, on social (use #octomoredialogos) or send a note on a postcard – we’ll curate the good, the bad and the ugly onto our debate ‘wall’ for the world to see.