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octomore 08.3/ 309 ppm

Islay Barley aged 5 years

Octomore 08.3/ 309 ppm Islay Barley Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Initiation and provocation is followed by challenge. Growing barley on Islay is always difficult and yields are low.

The autumn of 2010 was wet and windy. A late harvest saw Octomore farmer James Brown facing heavy losses from greylag geese and herds of wild red deer, resulting in a precious little yield. Malting the this Octomore grain produced results that were unprecedented, the readings came back at 309.1ppm. The nature and variety of Octomore depends on far more than simply number, but these were staggering.

Following a carefully controlled trickle distillation, this uber-provenance spirit was matured in 56% first fill Bourbon casks, the remaining in ex-Paulliac, Ventoux, Rhone and Burgundy casks.

The Octomore 08.3 edition is:

  • The most heavily-peated octomore to date (309ppm)
  • One farm, one field, one vintage

  • Distilled in 2011 from 2010 harvest
56% full-term ex-Bourbon, 44% full-term European oak maturation

  • Aged 5 years

  • 18,000 btls only

  • 61.2% ABV

Tasting Notes

This is the ultimate Islay Octomore. A thunderstorm of a dram. Close your eyes as you take the first sip and allow your senses to shut down as you focus on processing this fascinating dram.

Toasted oak and muddy/peaty smoke, bandages. Maple syrup, fresh linen, sea shells. Evokes a memory of lying in the heather on the peat moss, the warm sun coaxing the scent from the wild fowers. The fruit is cherry, peach and mango, with crème brulee and to ee from the oak and barley.

Initially a surprise as the stellar level of peat is bitter and over-whelming. Another sip opens with up with cherry and peach and toasted sweet oak, dark chocolate, boot polish and seaweed. At this level the peat is like a thunder cloud, darkening the atmosphere. You can feel it in your bones.

Complex, crème brulee with caramelised brown sugar slightly overdone. Dark plum, orange and kiwi sit well with the malted barley sweetness. The peat smoke is a tremendous presence o ering roasted coffee, burnt heather and a place in your memory forever.

Golden syrup

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