Tag Archives: octomore

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4 Virgin Oak Review

Distiller: Bruichladdich. Region: Islay. ABV: 61.2%. Age: 7 years. Price: $250.

One word could sum up the Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4 tasting event I attended in Chicago: unforgettable. Islay-born and raised head distiller Adam Hannett was in my home city to launch the United States arrival of the newest Octomore–the 7.4 Virgin Oak.

I’ve been drinking Octomore since edition 1.1, and have experienced the bold innovation that has been showcased in each subsequent release, but the 7.4 takes Octomore to a whole new place. This is a bottle of superlatives suited for the adventurous.

This inaugural 7-year-old release is bottled at 61.2% ABV, with 25% of the liquid matured the full seven years in French virgin oak casks, and 75% matured three years in classic first-fill bourbon casks, then 2 years in virgin oak, before a final 2 years again spent in first-fill bourbon casks.

The 7.4 has a familiar nose of powerful smoke, which you’d expect with it being peated to 167 ppm, but that’s where the familiarity ends. Unique sweet BBQ notes from the virgin oak reveal themselves and balance the smoke. On the palate the sweetness transitions to lovely dried fruits with rich oak and spice. The distinctive mix of sweet smoke and spice continue on the finish, and as the oak fades you’re left where you started, with lingering smoke.

This powerful Octomore is unlike any of its predecessors, and recommended for anyone looking to go where no Octomore has gone before. Cheers! – JTR

Buy Bruichladdich whisky online at Mash + Grape

Bruichladdich kindly provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley Review

Distillery: Bruichladdich. ABV: 50%. Age: 6 years. Region: Islay. Price: $60.

There’s a special place in my heart for Bruichladdich, and always will be. My first taste of the dear departed Laddie 10, my first taste of the volcanic Octomore, an epic night with J.T. sampling oddities and rarities like the Bruichladdich Yellow Submarine, sipping the Black Art on a hotel balcony overlooking Italy’s Lake Garda with Thane out better halves…this endlessly innovative Islay distillery has been bringing me some of my most memorable whisky moment for years.

Every chance to try a new ‘Laddie is a pleasure. This 2008 Port Charlotte Islay Barley was no exception.

Bruichladdich takes barley provenance seriously. Their tagline is “terroir matters”–terroir being the expression of aspects of a specific place in the qualities of a wine or spirit.

The core of the 2008 Port Charlotte for me is an underlying creaminess that recalls the Islay barley Octomores, like the magnificent Octomore 6.3. It starts on the nose. Sour cream pound cake. A little candied lemon. Wild strawberry. A little fuzzy peat at the fringes, but very mild. Bruichladdich calls this “Heavily Peated,” but at 40ppm, it’s below Ardbeg’s usual 55ppm, and WAY below the Octomores’ 150-250ppm+.

The palate starts with some sweet peat, but it’s still restrained. Marzipan. Medium-light body, but reasonably substantial for its age (6 years). Strawberry shortcake. With a few drops of water, the peat comes alive, prickles. Campfire and graham crackers, balanced by flickers of citrus. The finish is pleasant but on the shorter side. Leaves you wanting more, and pouring more.

A very approachable young Islay, creamy and bright at once, with excellent balance. Bottled at a healthy 50% ABV and sold at a very fair $60. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Happy Thirsty Thursday, friends! – BO

A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

Buy Bruichladdich whisky online at Mash + Grape

Lost Spirits Seascape Single Malt Review

Distiller: Lost Spirits. ABV: 65%(!) Age: 4 years. Price: $55

There are few distillers anywhere as wild and innovative as Lost Spirits’ Bryan Davis. The story, as I heard it, is that he and his wife Joanne were living in Spain and running a small absinthe distillery when they had their first taste of Bruichladdich’s Octomore. It was a revelation. Bryan had a thought: Why couldn’t there be an American Octomore? Not a copy, but something as wild, bold, and brawny, made with native ingredients on native soil — say that little scrap of family land they had waiting for them an hour south of San Francisco?

So goes the legend of the Mad Scientist of Monterey, CA.

Here’s one of his monsters. The Seacape may be, in its own way, the closest think I can imagine to an American Octomore. It’s a single malt from peated barley, aged four years in Lost Spirits’ own Navy Rum casks. An explosion of campfire, iodine, tons of salt — no surprise given the barley was fermented in Pacific Ocean water — and a certain patented Lost Spirits funk.

Best tried in small doses and side-by-side with others in their line. Even then, they’re only for the adventurous. But I’m awfully glad they’re out there. (When you can find them, that is — Lost Spirits has focused almost exclusively on making overproof rums in recent years, which are excellent in their own way.)

Hats off, Bryan. Please keep ’em coming! – BO