Whisky Advocate

Bruichladdich’s Octomore officially released

December 17th, 2008

The wait for Octomore is finally over. Here’s a brief press release I received yesterday on it. With 131 ppm phenol barley and 63.5% ABV, if this whisky doesn’t remind you that you’re alive, I don’t know what will.

Bruichladdich distillery announce  the release today of the world’s the most heavily peated whisky ever.

The inaugural bottling of Octomore, a single malt Scotch whisky distilled at Bruichladdich from barley peated to 131 ppm, is three times more peaty than any other whisky ever produced.

6000 bottles were produced at natural cask strength of 63.5% ABV, selling at £79 a bottle.

Such was demand amongst ‘peat freak’ whisky aficionados that stocks were sold out before the whisky was released.

23 Responses to “Bruichladdich’s Octomore officially released”

  1. Sku says:

    Do you know if we will get any of this in the US?

  2. John Hansell says:

    Yes, I believe we are. My press release didn’t say when or how many bottles. Maybe someone from Bruichladdich can enlighten us with additional information? (Mark, are you still out there?)

  3. Yang Wang says:

    I have managed to get a few bottles, finally opened one today, a bit too peaty for me i think.

    Will be taking them back to China though, add to the collection.

  4. Sku says:

    Thansk John. Also, are you (or anyone here) aware of a list of peat levels for different whiskies on-line anywhere? It would be interesting to compare Octomore to the other big peateds. Thanks.

  5. sam k says:

    You guys will probably have to come up with even more intense (and inherently less compelling, if that’s possible) flavor descriptors than “iodine,” “tarry rope,” and “boat docks” for this one! Good luck!

  6. Tesla says:

    Hi All,

    I have a couple of questions that someone who reads this blog may be able to explain. What method of determination was used to quantify the phenol content of the malted barley? Who is capable of producing such a malt on Islay? What is the phenol content of the spirit? Cheers.

  7. Rick Duff says:

    131 ppm? Man, I understand some people really love the smoke… but why not just pour some cheap stuff over a cigar ash tray?
    How about putting some scotch in a pan (for more surface area) and put it in my BBQ smoker? Hickory smoke scotch anyone?

    Honest question: does anyone that doesn’t smoke (cigars/cigarettes) like heavily peated scotch? Not light, not medium, but the big peat monsters?

  8. Tony Menechella says:

    I for one don’t smoke anything, and absolutely LOVE the peated scotch. Honestly, is there anything better than a Lagavulin or Ardbeg during the winter months, preferably in front of a fire?? I’m hoping to get some of the Octomore, and will be curious to see if and where it may be available here in the states. The more peat, the better (hopefully)!!

  9. John Hansell says:

    Here’s the scoop on distribution/pricing for the U.S. Octomore’s importer just told me that about 2,000 bottles are coming to the U.S., they should get into distribution by the end of January, and the price will be approximately $160.

  10. Sam S. says:

    The first time I was introduced to Ardbeg, I smelled it from 10 feet away when they opened the bottle, and that’s at 55 ppm.
    I could probably smell this from down the block.

  11. sku says:

    Thanks for the info. John. Do you have any idea how that 2,000 bottles compares to the PC5 distirbution in the US, which was a bit hard to find?

  12. kallaskander says:

    Hi there,

    hello Tesla here is the link to the info sheet for Octomore.

    The method was HPLC.

  13. John Hansell says:

    Sku, I’m not sure about that one. But, with 2,000 bottles, you should be able to find one at most of the specialty whisky retailers throughout the country. There’s a listing in the back of Malt Advocate and on our website.

  14. Tony Menechella says:

    Demand amongst peak freaks is not the only reason that it sold out. Octomore is already showing up on eBay in the UK. Go figure.

  15. If I recall correctly from Jefford’s Peat Smoke & Spirit, the Octomore malt was from Baird’s of Inverness, not anywhere in Islay. Those peating levels are misleading–they are for the finished malt, before any mashing or distillation. Levels in the whisky itself are considerably lower. A whisky made from 131ppm malt will of course be peatier than one made from 55ppm malt, but not nearly as much as those numbers suggest–I believe the higher the phenol content of the malt, the greater proportionate loss of phenols there is in the process. There is surely some point of diminishing returns. I’d like to see honest figures used for phenols in the whisky itself.

  16. Willie says:

    I don’t know the phenol level of the finished product, but it is immensely powerful. There’s an initial floral nose, but within a second or two it is overwhelmed by the peat. Really all the whisky offers at full strength is a burning peat fire on the senses. Dilution does nothing for it; it kills the flames, but gives nothing in return. Its a curiosity and not much more. Definitely not a great whisky at this age in my opinion. If they leave it long enough in the cask to tame the peat a little and allow the malt to develop then this might be sensational, but i guess we are 15 years away from that. I’m glad they did it because it is interesting. I don’t think it needs to be done again though, uness greater maturity is going to improve it substantially.

  17. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Willie for the feedback. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  18. Peat Freak says:

    I bought Octomore at Park Avenue liquors on Friday. As a whiskey enthusiast (and more importantly a “peat and smoke” enthusiast) I was a little bit disappointed. I gave myself the weekend to fully engage myself with it and I was still somewhat let down. I just finished the PC6 and just started PC5. I thought Octomore was going to “blow them out of the water” in terms of smoke and peat, but that was not the case. I still think it’s great, but not for the price ($150) or the hype that went into it.

  19. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Peat Freak for your thoughts. It’s good to hear that Octomore is on the shelves. Maybe you were expecting Octomore to blow you away with the peat and when it didn’t happen, you felt let down. How does it stand on its own–just as a smoky Islay–when compared to others on the island?

  20. Pat says:

    Holy of holiest peatmonger – not my fav, but a real tastebud treat. Consider yourself lucky to even be allowed to try. I’ll pick up an extra couple for the celler.

  21. don bell says:

    Just got a bottle here in Canada it has a very unique flavor Great Scotch

  22. Roger Neumann says:

    Yes, I love smoky scotch. My favorites are the really peaty ones from Islay, and no – I don’t smoke cigars!

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