Bruichladdich Octomore 10.3
I almost stutter when I say: PPM
Parts per million. It is almost like percentage. But where a percentage basically "parts per 100" is this about parts per million. But what kind of parts are we talking about? In short: phenols.
And phenols are very important in some whiskies. Why? Phenols are aromatic chemical particles that, in this case, give that lovely peated or smokey flavor to your favorite dram.
So what about it? Well, although some whiskies can be very smokey, the ppm numbers for those "heavily peated" whiskies are between 30-50 ppm. Yes, 30/1000000 is considered heavily peated. And the whisky discussed here today has 114. Yes, you read that correctly: 114/1000000. And fun fact, it is not even the most heavily peated whisky ever. (That honor goes to its older sibling with 309 ppm.)
We are talking about the Octomore 10.3 from the Bruichladdich distillery.
Now the Octomore series are a rare breed. Especially from a distillery that is not always known for its peated whiskies! I simply love the Classic Laddie from Bruichladdich, which is an Islay distillery, and that is an unpeated whisky. But next to that great dram, they have the Octomore series. Yes, series, because they tend to come in 3's or 4's. And all of them are numbered. The point 3, like this one, is the local barley variant. And I you know if you follow me a bit, I love distilleries that use local barley.
What I also love, is that this series is called dialogos, or as it says on the bottle: διάλογος. It means dialogue and Bruichladdich is inviting you with that to discuss about the resources of whisky.
So when I had the chance to buy a bottle because I ran into some spare change, I decided I wanted to buy the local barley. Please don't ask how much spare change you need to get one.
Apparently, there is a true process for distilling such a bottle, and maybe I should write about it, but I found a website that explains it so well, It would be a shame not to mention it. So If you are curious about the production method of an Octomore, follow this link.
Octomore διάλογος 10.3 Islay barley
This specific Octomore has been distilled in 2013 and aged for 6 years on ex-bourbon casks.
Is is bottled at 61,3%, is non-chill filtered and has no color added.
I love the color, which is way lighter than the image might show. It has a very light fresh yellow color
After I twirled the glass (a tiny one, it was a weekday) I got a clear thick line with some nice legs and smaller tears.
On the nose: You smell this one when you pour it. It is much fresher than you might suspect from such a heavily peated whisky. The first sniff took me back to a Swiss field in the Alps in high summer. I got fresh hay, sawdust, light ashes, pastry, custard and some sweet pear in the background.
Taste: Almost like a "mature" Classic Laddie. I got malt, a very nice and light saltiness, a tingy feeling like a very fizzy soda water, strong smoke and ashes at first, but later on the tongue more fresh fruits and sweetness. Apple and pear.
Finish: Spicy and smokey! A long lingering feeling and taste. Almost goes towards a Sunday roast with honey. In the end you get the barley.
I really love this bottle, would I scrape my spare change together again for a bottle? Maybe.
Since I'm a real fan of Bruichladdich whisky, it might join my collection again in the future. For now I have this bottle, which I'm enjoying a lot!