Bruichladdich Octomore (Edition 01.1), 5 years old, 63.5%

Price: $185 Issue: Summer 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

This is the new super-peated (131 ppm phenol barley) Bruichladdich. “Super-peated” seems almost like an understatement. Ultra-peated, perhaps? Intense smoke on the nose and palate, with notes of freshly tarred road, cigar smoke and ash, licorice root, bacon fat, kalamata olive, and smoked seaweed. Struggling to emerge are youthful orchard fruit, honeyed malt, brine, and soft vanilla. Long, smoky finish -- like licking the walls of a peat-infused kiln. A very invigorating whisky. It's a few years younger than the other ultra-peated whisky, Ardbeg Supernova. I think if they were both the same age, I would like them equally (and score them equally -- I gave Supernova an 89). But the Octomore does taste a little green, which was not noticeable in the Supernova. I think Octomore will be very good in another five years, and amazing in another ten. Let's hope the lads at Bruichladdich are holding some stocks back.