Octomore 2007 RBTW Review

“I Want (Octo) More!!!”

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Octomore 2007 RBTW Limited Edition
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 6 Years
ABV: 64.5 %
Chill Filtration: No
Whisky Review # 557

Colour: Light Golden/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose: Be sure to give this Octomore enough time in the glass. The strong Peat and Alcohol try to hide the fact that we are nosing a very young Whisky here. I must admit though that it works out quite nicely. I also find Burnt Straw, Burnt Toast, Smoked Bacon, light Rubber, Salted Nuts, light Leather, Fresh Herbs and Vegetables, light Vanilla, White Orchard Fruit, Citrus Peel, Marc d' Alsace, light Pepper, Mint and Oak Char. The Peat is quite strong at over 150 PPM and tends to dominate the other Aromas. Still, this young Octomore certainly shows some Character and Depth on the Nose. Well Done!

Palate: Strong Delivery as was to be expected. This is not a Beginner's Dram! I find Dirty Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, light Rubber/Plastic, Soot, Charred Oak, Strong Black Coffee, Sour Apples, Pear, Lemon, Toasted Almonds, Fresh Herbs, Marc d' Alsace, Toffee, light Vanilla, Dried Grapes, Pepper, Ginger and Mint. This is a very strong Islay that packs a Punch despite its Youth. I can imagine me enjoying a dram or two after having strolled on the Island on a Misty, Rainy Morning!     

Finish: Extremely Long, Spicy, Malty and Bitter Sweet. Dry towards the end. I find Toasted Cereals, Malt Biscuits, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Rubber, Oak, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Almonds, Marc d' Alsace (Gewurztraminer), Pepper, Ginger and Menthol. This Octomore really keeps you busy here!  

Given the small size of the sample I only tasted it neat. I assume there is quite some space to add a little Water given the high ABV. Based on my experience with peated Malts I would say that Barley and Floral notes might come to the front, accompanied by a little Chocolate perhaps. 

Rating: 87.5    

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 22.5 - Overall: 22 

General Remarks: Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. The distillery changed hands various times over the years. It stopped producing from 1929 to 1936, from 1983 to 1993 and from 1995 to 2001 although it did produce a couple of months in 1998. In the year 2000 the distillery was bought by Murray McDavid who brought Bruichladdich back on the Whisky map. He did this so successfully that he was able to sell the distillery in 2012 to the French spirit giant Remy Cointreau. 

The Octomore I'm tasting today was distilled at Bruichladdich on the 19th of December 2007. It matured for 6 years on Islay in an Ex-Sauternes Cask with # R0000016751 and was bottled at Cask Strength by/for the Independent Bottler Fox Fitzgerald Whisky Trading under their Rest & Be Thankful Label on the 18th of November, 2014. Only 302 bottles went to the market. Some are available with prices that vary a lot from place to place but are usually in the US$ 220-290 range (September 2016).  

"The name Rest & Be Thankful comes from an inscription on a stone made by soldiers who built a military road in 1753 on the West coast of Scotland. The road out of Glen Crow was so long and so steep that it was almost traditional for travellers to rest on the top and be thankful for having reached the highest point. When drinking this Whisky, you might experience the same pleasure".

Drinking Experience Neat: Very Good.    

Conclusion: I was pleasantly surprised by this Octomore. I must admit I had my doubts given its young age but somehow this combination of heavy Peat, high ABV, a good Cask and young Bruichladdich Spirit works. The price of this Malt is quite high but if you have the cash to spare I can certainly recommend this Octomore if you are into heavily peated Malt. What I like most about this Single Malt is the fact that it's quite complex for such a young Spirit. It remains very interesting right from the Nose until the extremely long Finish. Imagine, if this Octomore would have matured for another 8 Years or so. I can only imagine the beauty of the balance of the Peat and the other Aromas and Flavours at such an advanced age. It would almost certainly have rocketed into my personal Top 5. The way it stands though, it's still a very nice and strong Islay malt. I will now Rest & Be Thankful.    

Jan van den Ende                                                              September 7, 2016

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