Octomore 2005 10 y.o. Cask Sample
Another review that means nothing to anyone, but maybe 5 or 6 people. But, hey…it’s my online journal of notes, so it’s ok to be self-indulgent from time to time, right?
This wee jotting is kind of like the third part of a trilogy. On my past three trips over to lslay I’ve been fortunate enough to drink some scorchingly enormous Octomore straight from the barrel in the warehouse. Each time I’ve written about it. Much like last time, a mate of mine, and Bruichladdich distillery manager, Allan Logan was kind enough to send me away with a wee take-away sample of this 2005 barrel from the Port Charlotte warehouses. Serves as a neat looking glass into what the rawest of raw Octomore looks like. And being a fan of the bottled expressions, I can unequivocally state that the sipping experience is nothing compared to the unfiltered bombast of the oily spirit straight from the cask. Each barrel differs, of course, but the uncompromising oiliness and strength make it singular. And drinking it in an old dunnage warehouse doesn’t hurt at all either.
And this one? Well…it’s Octomore through and through. I loved it, as you can imagine. It’s a softer dram than most are used to, but that’s much to do with the additional five years of mellowing. Octomore is typically a five year old dram. If I’m being honest, I think I prefer the youthful nature of the standard releases, but not one of the bottled expressions will ever beat these warehouse drams in terms of pure experiential enjoyment.
Thanks again, Allan.
Nose: Sharp citric bite immediately announces Octomore. Yet somehow it’s also creamy. Dark smoke. White fudge. Chewy candy (think jujubes, not gummies). Lemon cake. Rubber. Phenols are huge here. A touch of vanilla. Key lime. Rich, dark cigar leaf.
Palate: Wow. This is a big drink. Bigger than big. The nose is somehow subtle, but the palate…not so much. Rubbery. Big acrid phenolic notes (beautiful!). As cheesy as this sounds…it tastes like fire-cooked seafood by the ocean. A brief bit of bitter coffee and oversteeped tea. Sweetness at the back end. Almost fruity.
Thoughts: Octomore doesn’t come in any size but XXL, and this is certainly that, even with a decade of mellowing. Exactly as we’d expect. And want.
– Images & Words: Curt
Wow! Sounds awesome! Brings me back to my first taste of Octomore…but that was in a store.
This summer I sampled some distilled grape spirit (In parts of France it would essentially be called Cognac) made by the French manager of a winery in Western China. The experience of seeing it drawn out of the barrel, nosing it, tasting it, uncut, unfiltered, knowing I was the only non-chinese Resident ever to have tasted this at cask strength… and it was delicious.
My brother in law is friends with manager. He’s hoping to get a CS bottle of it for me when it gets released. That would be great…but the experience! Next stop…Islay.
would love to try this one as newmake…
new make right from the still at the distillery…now THAT…..
I think you’d be surprised. From Islay I’ve tried Kilchoman, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Bowmore new make. I’ve also tried peated new make from BenRiach, GlenDronach, Highland Park, Amrut and more. Almost always it is virtually smoke free. The smoke is conspicuously absent. As soon as it hits a barrel though…wham! I don’t understand the science, but it is phenomenal to experience.
Just catching up on your notes now, also been busy. I was lucky enough to try this one too, nothing quite like it. I imagine your upcoming posts are going to make me really miss my trip to Islay.