The Islay Festival release for 2014 is to be the extraordinary ‘Octomore Discovery’. Back in 2007, Jim McEwan, inspired by the great Scots traveler Martin Martin, quadruple distilled a spirit made from super heavily peated malt that was destined to become Octomore. The result is utterly unique. Matured for seven years in Oloroso sherry butts, nothing like it has ever been previously released.
Martin Martin was an adventurer on a journey of discovery. He wrote one of the first travelogues about the Western Isles of Scotland and famously described some early versions of what would eventually evolve into Scotch whisky: “the Natives to brew several sorts of Liquors, as common Usquebaugh, another call’d Trestarig, id est Aquavitae, three times distill’d, which is strong and hot; a third sort is four times distill’d, and this by the Natives is call’d Usquebaugh-baul, id est Usquebaugh, which at first taste affects all the Members of the Body: two spoonfuls of this last Liquor is a sufficient Dose; and if any Man exceed this, it would presently stop his Breath, and endanger his Life”.
This was probably an example of Martin being somewhat credulous, but the description of distillation is unequivocal.
His journey took place around 1695 and during Feis Ile, at 1.00pm on Sunday 25th May 2014, a limited edition of just 1,695 bottles of Octomore Discovery will be offered for sale at Bruichladdich exclusively to visitors to the distillery.
The spirit was distilled on 18th February 2007 and has been bottled at 69.5% using a little of the pure spring water that rises on Octomore Farm above the village of Port Charlotte.
This Octomore is quite unlike any of those that have gone before. This is a another step in our progressive exploration of the distiller’s art. Although the grain was originally malted at peating levels previously unheard of in the creation of a single malt whisky, the quadruple trickle distillation means that this is no longer about the numbers… it is much more important than that.
The cost will be £150. Purchases will be limited to one bottle per person.