Johnnie Walker 18 Years Review


“Who’s Johnnie”

Whisky Review # 879

Country: Scotland
Brand: Johnnie Walker
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Probably a Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and some Sherried Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Ratio : US$ 55-75 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😀Okay if you can get it at around US$ 50
Buying Advice: 😑It's okay but Black and Green have a better P/Q ratio.

Colour:

Rich Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

It's a pity that even the higher-end JW Blends are bottled at 40%. The 18 Years at least requires 43% and probably a bit more. As it is the initial feeling on the Nose is a bit Weak and Thin. It's not bad but just too Light. The Grain Alcohol is notable of course but in a Softer way. The Nose is basically Sweet with Fruits, Cereals and Caramel in the lead.

Main Aromas:

Soft Cereals, lightly Salted Caramel, Butterscotch, Apple-Strudel, Apricot-filled Puff Pastry, Citrus Peel (Orange, Lemon, Mandarin), Oak, Ginger, Cinnamon and Floral notes.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Sweet Barley, Toast, Heather-Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Toasted Pineapple, Herbal Tea, Mint, Maraschino Cherries, Banana Yogurt. In the distant background a little Smoke, Earth, Ashes and Varnish.

Glen Elgin

Palate:

A bit on the Thin side again due to the low ABV. The Palate is quite Clean without any off-notes. The Grain Alcohol is more noticeable here than on the Nose. The Palate is Sweet with a very light Bitter touch for balance. Soft Spices enter as well.

Main Flavours:

Soft Cereals, Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Wax, Apple-Strudel, Apricot/Peach filled Puff Pastry, Citrus Peel (Orange, Mandarin), Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Salted Butter, Plum Jam, Salted Almonds/Peanuts, Herbal Tea, Mint, Dusty Earth, Smoke and Orange-Flavoured Dark Chocolate.

Finish:

Middle-Long and (almost Sugary) Sweet. There's more Spice in the Finish and the Grain Alcohol is more noticeable here. I find Toasted Cereals, Sweet Barley, Salty Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Heather-Honey, Floral notes, Citrus Peel, Nuts, Fruit Cake, Charred Oak, Pepper, Orange-Flavoured Chocolate, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint and hints of Smoke, Dusty Earth and Varnish. Medium-Dry.

Auchroisk
Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and on the Nose the Malt advances with a clear nod to the Cardhu Distillery. The Grain Alcohol & Pepper become more evident in the Finish. I prefer it Neat but you can certainly play with a few drops here.

Rating: 84

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Drinking Experienceon the Rocks: Good

Conclusion:

The Pursuit of the Ultimate 18 Year Old Blend is the full name of this 18 year old Blend of up to 18 different Grain/Malt Whiskies prepared by Jim Beveridge, Master Blender at Diageo. The basis is Speyside with Malts like Cardhu, Glen Elgin and Auchroisk. It is enhanced by Highland Malts like Blair Athol & a bit of Smoky Island Malt, probably Talisker. This 18 year old is in the fact the revived Platinum that received new packaging, name and bottle. It's possible of course that minor changes have been made in the blend depending on the availability of certain Single Malts.

The 18 Years is indeed quite similar to the Platinum. This Blend is okay but suffers from the low ABV and the, IMO, slightly too high Speyside (Cardhu) component. It would be much better at 43-45% with a higher percentage of Highland & Island (Talisker). As it is, it's okay if you can get it at around US$ 50. Above that, the Green and even the Black and Double-Black are the better JW options.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                         June 15, 2020

Cardhu

Maristela Cachaça Review - Moonshine White Dog San Basile Review - Code 9 Single Malt Review



“And Now For Something Completely Different”


Introduction:

With respect to Whisky, Brazil is still a developing country. Everybody knows the main Blends such as Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and Ballantine's of course. But the demand for Single Malts is still very limited and so is the offer. The very high prices don't help here either. But the main reason is perhaps the climate. Most people consider that Beer and Cocktails like the Caipirinha simply combine better with the tropical climate. It's not for nothing that Cachaça (Sugar Cane Liquor) is the national distillate and the main ingredient of Caipirinha. But Whisky is slowly becoming more popular in Brazil and it's time to give a bit more attention to this fact. Today I'm looking at a White Dog produced in Sao Paulo state that seeks to attract the attention of young people and a Single Malt Whisky from the Southern state of Santa Catarina. To put their performance in perspective, I will compare them to an artisan Cachaça, also from the state of Sao Paulo. All in all, it's quite different from my usual Whisky tasting sessions so I'm looking forward to it!
===================================================

Spirit Review # 876

Country: Brazil
Region: Caçapava (Sao Paulo State)
Brand: Maristela Prata
Type: Brazilian Artisan Sugar Cane Liquor
Age: NAS (Six Months)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Stainless Steel tanks
Chill Filtration: Not Applicable
Average Price Range : US$ 6-8 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Good and cheap basis for Caipirinha.
Buying Advice: 😐 See above. It's not good enough as a sipping Cachaça.

Colour:

Water (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Prata expression did not mature in wooden casks and consequently does not provide us with lots of Aromas and Flavours. The Nose is Clean, Soft and Sweet with Sugar Cane Alcohol as the main driver. A few modest Fruity and Floral notes.

Main Aromas:

Sugar Cane Alcohol, Yeast, Dough, Grass, Green Leaves, Lime and Cloves.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Concentrated Pear Juice, Mandarin, White Flowers (Marguerite). A distant hint of a Petrol station.


Palate:

The Young Sugar Cane Alcohol really prevails right now and you need to dig deep to identify a few additional Flavour components. The Palate is Sweet, Medium-Dry and slightly Oily and Hot.

Main Flavours:

Sugar Cane Alcohol, Lime, Bitter Orange, Grass and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Pear, Dusty Earth, Green Leaves, Salt, Nutmeg and Cloves.

Finish:

Short/Medium-Long. Light and mainly Sweet. Some increasing Bitterness towards the "Hot" end. I find Sugar Cane Alcohol, Lime, Bitter Orange, Pear, Grass, Green Leaves, Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg and Cloves.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Cachaça as it drowns easily.

Rating: 60

Nose: 17 - Taste: 14  - Finish: 14  - Overall: 15

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay

As a Basis for Caipirinha: Good

Conclusion:

The site of the company tells us that the Brand was founded in the 70's by an employee of a still in the Vale do Paraiba region who always dreamed of producing his own Cachaça. Only in Mid 2010 though the copper still was assembled and the first Cachaça was distilled in 2014. Next to the Silver (Prata) I'm reviewing here, the company also produces the Gold that matured in Oak barrels for at least a year and the Premium that matured for 2 years in Ipe Oak and, quite recently, the Amburana. A whole range of (mostly) Fruit Liquors is distilled as well.

The Prata rests for 6 months in Inox steel tanks before being bottled. This is not a sipping Cachaça as it lacks sufficient Aromas and Flavours due to the fact that it did not have Wood contact. It's okay on the rocks I suppose but it mainly serves as a good basis for Caipirinha thanks to the Citric nature of this Maristela Prata. I can hear the White Dog howling so let's see how that compares!


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Whisky Review # 877

Country: Brazil
Region: Tuiuti (Sao Paulo State)
Brand: San Basile White Dog (Moonshine)
Type: Single Malt without Maturation in Oak barrels (New Make Spirit)
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Not Applicable
Chill Filtration: Not Applicable
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: US$ 18 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Good and relatively cheap basis for Cocktails
Buying Advice: 😐It's nice to try it out but it's not my regular kind of drink.

Colour:

Water (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Moonshine San Basile was produced with a 100% Malted Barley. There are some similarities with the Cachaça of course due to the fact that both Spirits did not have Wood contact after distillation. But there are some differences as well. The Moonshine shows more Fruity and Nutty characteristics besides the obvious Grain influence. It's not as Sweet as well. Personally I like this better but that might be a result of the fact that I've smelled and tasted lots of New Make Spirit during my visits to the Whisky distilleries in Scotland.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Malt Biscuits, Green Apple, Banana, Nougat/Marzipan, Almonds and Alcohol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Yeast, Dough, Wax, Pear, Milk Chocolate, Caramel, Flowers, Peanuts, Mushrooms, (Lemon) Pepper and a light Meaty note.

Picture Credit: O Cao Engarrafado
Palate:

Malty, Spicy, Fruity and Floral. Medium-Sweet with a few Bitter notes. The Alcohol is more noticeable by now. It is similar to Gin and Grain Vodka but I find it to be a little more subtle.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Malt Biscuits, Green Apple, Banana, Almonds, Alcohol and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Dough, Yeast, Pear, Flowers, Lemon, Seville-Orange, Cardamom and Menthol.

Finish:

Medium-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Hot and Spicy. The Alcohol is quite present at this stage. I find Sweet Barley, Dough, Green Apple, Pear, Banana, Grass, Seville-Orange, Pepper, Cardamom, Menthol and Juniper.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Moonshine.

Rating: 71

Nose: 18.5 - Taste: 17.5 - Finish: 17.5 - Overall: 17.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

San Basile Distillery is run by Renato Chiappetta. Since 2019 the distillery offers 16 different distillates including Spiced Rum, Liquors, Gin, Limoncello & Absinthe.

It is understood that around 70% of all Whisky Aromas and Flavours derive from (extensive) wood contact. The rest comes from the distillation process, the Barley, the Water, the Yeast and the "Terroir". So you can't expect to find lots of Aromas and Flavours when nosing and tasting Moonshine. I did manage to identify a few but it took me a while despite the fact that I have nosed and tasted many New Make Spirits in Scotland. This San Basile Moonshine certainly holds its ground. You can sip it or enjoy it over ice but it's best used in cocktails. This New Make Spirit does show some potential and it would be nice to be able to enjoy a well-matured San Basile Single Malt in the future. Who knows!


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Whisky Review # 878

Country: Brazil
Region: Blumenau (Santa Catarina state)
Brand: Code 9
Distilled at: Xanadu Distillery, Blumenau
Type: Brazilian Single Malt Whisky - Pure Malt according to local law
Age: NAS (Around 3 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation:  Ex-Bourbons casks and Refill/Re-Charred American and French Oak
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price : US$ 30-35
Price/Quality Ratio: 😃Pleasant surprise. Okay/Good P/Q ratio
Buying Advice: 👍 It's a nice alternative for Scottish entry level Malts. 

Colour:

Amber (Natural Colour for the time being)

Nose:

Young, Clean and slightly on the Thin side. The Fresh French Oak is clearly there and reminds me of some recent West-European Whiskies. The Nose is Sweet but not overly so. Lots of Biscuity and Nutty notes alongside a little (Dried) Fruit. No significant off-notes.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, Vanilla, Butter Biscuits, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Sultanas, New and Refill Oak, Toasted Almonds, Dairy and Straw.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Syrup, Marzipan, Honey, Slivovitz, Toasted Pineapple, Cinnamon and Cocoa Powder.
  

Palate:

Young, Clean, Sweet and slightly Thin. No Off-Notes. You can sip this Malt and that's the first time I say that about a Brazilian Whisky (Product). The Alcohol is more present now.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Cocoa Powder, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Plums, Toasted Almonds, New and Refill Oak, Pepper and Cinnamon.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Marzipan, Citrus Peel, Straw and Licorice.

Finish:

Middle-Long, Young and mostly Sweet. A Little Bitterness from the Oak provides some balance. The Alcohol is quite present at this point and the Malt can't hide its Youth. But, again, no off-notes and without any doubt the best Brazilian Whisky I have tasted so far. I find Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Plums, Cocoa Powder, New & Refill Oak, Straw, Lemon Peel, Almonds, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cough Syrup and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that adds a Creamy texture to the palate. The Finish becomes too Thin though. Still, a few drops are okay.

Rating: 81

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The creator of this Brazilian Malt is Bruno Mafra. The product is distilled in the Xanadu distillery in Blumenau.

I'm pleasantly surprised by this Code 9. It's the best Brazilian Whisky product I've tasted so far. The main issue is its Youth. It would be nice to try a fully-matured Code 9 Malt, matured in Ex-Bourbon casks with a Sherry wood Finish. Maybe I'm day-dreaming here but this is a promising project and I wish Bruno all the best!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                          June 8, 2020

Xanadu Stills

Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve Review


“Blackberry Way”


Whisky Review # 875

Country: Japan
Region: North of Tokyo
Brand: Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve - Leaf Series
Blended at: Chichibu Distillery
Type: Japanese Blended Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Possibly a mix of Bourbon, Sherry & Mizunara Wood. Red Wine Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price : US$ 260 (June 2020) - Lowest Price: US$ 128 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Too expensive for such a Young Whisky
Buying Advice: 😀 It's expensive but if you love Red Wine Finish, go for it!

Colour:

Dark Amber with shades of Brown and Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

It's a young Whisky but the Red Wine casks mask this fact convincingly without over-powering the other Aromas. Nicely done. It's Medium-Sweet and quite Fruity with lots of Dark Red Fruits like Berries. Soft and Pleasant.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Toffee, Vanilla, Dark Red Fruit (Berries), Cassis, Fresh Apricot, Dried/Fresh Herbs, Milk-Chocolate, Oak, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mint, Cardamom and Licorice.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Roasted Nuts, Coffee Beans, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Banana, Grass & Straw, Floral Soap, Apple Strudel, Bounty Candy Bars, Nougat, Orange, Polished Leather and Pepper. A hint of overcooked Vegetables.


Palate:

The Red Wine casks are more present now without being dominant. Again they succeed in partly obscuring the Youth of this Whisky. The Palate presents a mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. As you know I'm not a huge fan of Red Wine cask finishing but here it works.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Malted Barley, Caramel, Roasted Nuts, Red Berries, Plum Jam, Seville-Orange, Apple Strudel, Milk Chocolate, Oak, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Mint. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Toast, Vanilla, Dried Fruit (Raisins, Dates and Figs), Grapefruit, Lemon-Pepper, Herbal Tea, Polished Leather, Dusty Track, Bounty Candy Bars, Cloves and Soy Sauce.

Finish:

Medium-Long. Medium-Dry. Mainly Sweet with a few Bitter and Spicy notes as well for balance. The Red Wine casks are more noticeable now without overdoing it. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Grass, Straw, Seville Orange, Blackberries, Raspberries, Dried and Fresh Herbs, Oak, (Lemon) Pepper, Ginger, Aniseed, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Chocolate, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Metal and Mushrooms.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Wine Wood Reserve as the ABV of 46% is spot-on.

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

This Japanese Whisky is named after Ichiro Akuto, the owner/founder of the Chichibu distillery founded in 2008. He is a grandson of the founder of Hanyu, a distillery that was closed in 2004. Ichiro managed to buy around 400 casks of Hanyu Malt. Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve is a blend of Malt Whisky from these two distilleries. Over the years the Hanyu part in the blend decreases of course. Wine Wood Reserve is finished in egg-shaped French Oak Red Wine Casks called Ovums. They are produced in the Charentes region by Taransaud and are used in the Bordeaux region.

Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve is a well-made Red Wine cask finished blended Malt. This finish manages to largely obscure the Youth of the Spirit. Ichiro for some reason has become a bit of a cult Whisky and prices have gone through the roof. Objectively speaking I can't understand this hype. Ichiro has produced some nice Malts but it is very Young Whisky and we should not forget that! Still, if you are a big fan of Red Wine Cask Finishing and you have the cash, you won't be disappointed with this Wine Wood Reserve.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                          June 1, 2020

Chichibu Distillery

Caol Ila 1988 (Carn Mor) Review


“Isn’t It a Pity”

Whisky Review # 874

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Caol Ila 1988 (Distilled on December 1, 1988)
Bottled By: Morrison & MacKay
Bottled for: Carn Mor (Celebration of the Cask Series) on August 18, 2015
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 4213
Age: 26 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 57% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead - 135 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 350-390 (May 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎Too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: 😐 It's good but it lacks Balance and Complexity.

Colour: Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Caol Ila enough time in the glass before Nosing. The first impressions are Smoke, Earthy Peat, Wood and a few Burnt notes. The Alcohol is present so you will need to find your way around it. I do not find an awful lot of complexity here. I must admit I'm slightly disappointed as I expected more after 26 years.

Main Aromas:

Malted and Toasted Barley, Burnt Toast, Salted Butter, Burnt Heather, Charred Oak, Dirty Smoke, Wet Clay mixed with Cow Manure and Straw, Cigar Ashes, Soot, Toasted Pineapple, Roasted Coffee, Lemon, Olive Oil, Leather, Aniseed, Herbal Tea, Licorice, Pepper and Ginger.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Brine, Iodine, Tar, Burnt Rubber, Varnish, Toasted Nuts, Bacon and Shellfish on the BBQ, Wet Rocks, Grapefruit, Apple-Vinegar, Yeast, Mango, Tobacco, Cinnamon and Cloves.


Palate:

My favourite part of this Caol Ila. I find the Nose rather on the plain side and the Finish slightly Messy and quite Woody and Spicy. On the Palate, Coastal notes, Smoke/Peat, Wood, Spices and Fruit are a bit more in line.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Burnt Heather, Dirty Smoke and Earthy Peat, Soot, Cigar Ashes, Mix of Straw and Cow Manure, Charred Oak, Lemon, Grapefruit, Toasted Pineapple, Leather, Pepper, Aniseed, Menthol, Licorice and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Brine, Iodine, Smoked Bacon, Fish & Shellfish, Apple-Vinegar, Wax, Cherry-Flavoured Mints, Tobacco, Herbal Tea, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

     

Finish:

Middle-Long/Long. Sweet with additional Bitter, Salty & Sour notes for balance. The Alcohol remains quite present. Lots of Wood and Wood Spices as well. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel/Butter, Vanilla, Dirty Smoke, Earthy Peat, Soot, Tar, Brine, Iodine, Ashes, Wet Rocks, Roasted Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Charred Oak, Grapefruit, Lemon, Smoked Salmon, Roasted Nuts, Herbal Tea, Tobacco, Leather, Toasted Pineapple, Apple-Vinegar, Pepper, Menthol, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Ginger.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and the Alcohol retreats on the Nose and gives way to a few Fruity notes like Apricot or Peach. Banana perhaps. The Malt also becomes easier on the Palate and in the Finish although Menthol and Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup start to dominate the latter. Considering it all my advise would  be to add a few drops of Water in this case.

Rating: 87

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good. I expected more though.

Conclusion:

The Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 and is located close to Port Askaig on Islay. It was bought by DCL in 1927 and through some mergers is now part of Diageo. The distillery was rebuilt in 1974 and only one old Warehouse reminds us of former days. Traditionally, Caol Ila is an important component of Blends like Johnnie Walker, Bell's and White Horse. But during the last 15 years Diageo has made great efforts to position the Distillery as a Single Malt as well. Caol Ila is beautifully located alongside the strait between Islay and Jura. The Core range includes the 12, 18 and 25 Years, the Distiller's Edition as well as the NAS Moch. We enjoyed both our visits to the distillery in 2014 and 2017 respectively despite the fact that you're not allowed to take pictures.

In general I love well-matured Islay Whisky and Caol Ila is one of my favourite distilleries. But despite the fact that this Carn Mor expression is a good Single Malt, it failed to meet my high expectations and it won't rank amongst the best aged Caol Ila Malts I've tasted so far. There's too much Alcohol, Wood, Spice and Smoke to really consider it as being well-balanced. It probably overstayed its time in the cask a little bit. It's still a good Whisky of course but at today's prices I can't really recommend it. What a pity! I was really looking forward to taste this one!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     May 25, 2020

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.2 Review


“Blame It On My Youth”

Whisky Review # 873

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Octomore 07.2 (208 PPM) - Scottish Barley Series
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Limited Edition
Age: 5 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 58.5% (Around Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon American Oak casks + Rhone Syrah Red Wine casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 150-220 (May 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Too expensive for such a Young Single Malt
Buying Advice: 😀 A Young but well-made Peat/Red Wine combination

Colour:

Golden Straw (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please give this Octomore sufficient time in the glass before nosing as the ABV is quite high. It's reasonably well-integrated though. The first impressions are soothing Earthy Peat & Dark Red Fruits. Nice combination. The Syrah casks are noticeable but do not overpower the other Aromas. Quite pleasant all in all with a mix of Fruity, Sweet, Sour and Salty notes. It's a Young Whisky of course but it doesn't bother me at all while nosing.

Main Aromas:

Toasted/Malted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Straw mixed with Cow Manure, Cold Smoke, Earthy Peat, Burnt Grass, Brine, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Smoked Bacon & Ham with Mustard, Red Berries, Grapefruit, Lemon, Roasted Nuts, Dusty Charred Oak, Black Olives, Pepper and Cinnamon.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Yeast, Iodine, Green Apple, (Green) Apricot, Orange, Dried and Fresh Herbs, Herbal Tea, Peanut Butter, PVC Pipes, Gasoline Station, Tobacco, Leather, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Cocoa Powder, Ginger and Menthol.


Palate:

A nice combination of Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter and Fruity notes. Medium-Dry. Youth and Alcohol are more noticeable now. I can only imagine how awesome a fully-matured Octomore would be. Bruichladdich should really try it out at least once! Once again, the Syrah casks are there but not at all in a suffocating way.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Toasted Barley, Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Dark Red Berries, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mix of Straw & Cow Manure, Green Apple, Smoked Bacon & Ham with Mustard, Dusty Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove, Licorice and Mint.
  
Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Iodine, Burnt Grass, Seville Orange, Tobacco, Leather, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Rubber, Metal, Strong Espresso & Herbal Tea.


Finish:

Middle-Long/Long. Medium-Dry. The Alcohol is certainly strong at this point. Its Youth is also more noticeable. There are a few Rubber and Metallic Off-Notes that I could do without. The Finish is a mix of Sweet, Sour, Salty, Medicinal and Bitter notes. I find Sweet Toasted Barley, Burnt Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Yeast, Burnt Grass, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Soot, Tar, Iodine, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dark Red Berries, Herbal Tea, Roasted Nuts, Dusty Charred-Oak, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso, Wax, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Smoked Ham, Cocoa Powder, Pepper, Ginger, Licorice and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that certainly helps to calm down the Alcohol. The Nose becomes a bit too Peaty though. Palate and, to a lesser extent, the Finish, benefit from the added Water though. I would advise to add a few drops (5).

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its history it was mothballed various times, the last time in 1998. In 2012 the Islay distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau (France). Since, Bruichladdich is showing a healthy growth again. The distillery produces 3 types of Single Malt, i.e. the unpeated Bruichladdich & the heavily peated Port Charlotte and Octomore. The basic core range includes Classic Laddie, Islay Barley 2010 and Black Art 5. The annual production amounts to around one million litres.

The Octomore 07.2 was launched in 2015, originally for Travel Retail only. I have mixed feelings about this Octomore. On the one hand, the combination of Bourbon and Syrah casks works very well. The Red Wine influence is there but always in a modest laid-back way. Well done! On the other hand, Palate and Finish ruthlessly show the Youth of this Octomore, something the Nose manages to hide in a clever way. The Price/Quality ratio can't be good therefore and I long to nose and taste a fully-matured Octomore! Peat Lovers all over the World should send petitions to Bruichladdich in this respect. Who knows some day!!!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                       May 18, 2020

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014