We at Liquor Online have taken it upon ourselves to review and report on the one and only Octomore 8.1 Single Malt by Bruichladdich. A selfless task, we realize. We did this for you, our readers to no benefit of our own.
Let us start by stressing that chilling takes much of the character from this Single Malt and is not recommended for those wanting to fully appreciate the worlds most peated whisky. In general, we recommend reserving chilling to blended varieties. It is widely agreed that ice takes the harshness out of a blended scotch and dulls a single malt.
If you want to accentuate the aromas without dulling the full-bodied nature then try adding a droplet or two of room temperature purified water to your dram as you like. In saying that, we encourage you to enjoy your dram however you please. Chilled or not chilled, watered or not, we dont discriminate in our family of liquid gold lovers.
On the nose it begins smoky and with the intense peat being immediately apparent. With patience an aroma of citrus surfaces and is not at all subtle. There are many strategies to deconstructing the nose of your drink that vary from the brief to the borderline absurd.
One of the more common and time-saving methods is to put a small amount (a teaspoon or so) of the liquid into a tumbler and swirl the glass until it has been completely coated with a thin layer. You can now nose the whisky as it stands several times to explore the aromas.
An additional method that can be done on its own or in conjunction with this is started by pouring your drink and breathing in the immediate scents. After exploring this layer cup your glass with two hands for 1-2 minutes to warm it and explore the new layers that are released by this change in temperature.
In the mouth is where the fun is had, so without further ado lets delve in.
This drink has a bizarrely soft and delicate mouthfeel as a result of the lengthy distillation process. There taste begins with many layers of esters with the most obvious being of floral and citrus character. The full-bodied profile to this whisky is prone to underappreciation in the shadows of its heavily-peated phenol character. Although taking a moment to cover the taste buds reveals the many layers of sweetness that come through.
What follows is a common characteristic in the Octomore range and did not disappoint in this instance. We are of course talking about the intense and lengthy transition to the peat body. What stays with you throughout the finish is the true beauty of this drop. The finish is of an ashy oak wood that becomes overwhelmed with the signature peat smoke.
Dont underestimate the pure dryness of this liquid smoke. I can personally tell you that letting your guard down and attempting to converse mid-finish with your tasting buddies may leave you momentarily speechless.
Unsurprisingly another must-try by Bruichladdich. This may be one to keep tucked away for a point of contention with any other single malt that dare claim to be heavily-peated. Octomore 8.1 has earned itself the absolute commendation of being the archetype of smoky single malts.