June 6, 2014

Battle of the Beasts Part 3: Bruichladdich Octomore 2.1

We're back with the third contender in our Battle of the Beasts showdown: Bruichladdich Octomore 2.1.  Octomore is the extra-peated line from Bruichladdich and includes the peatiest scotches ever known to man.  This second addition comes in at a whopping 140 parts per million peat level.  All of the Octomores to date have been five years old, until last year when they released a ten year variety.  The ten year comes in the $250-$300/bottle range so we haven't had the chance to try it yet.  (anyone out there want to pour us a glass?? wink wink).  One thing we can say definitively is that they have a totally badass looking bottle design...

SmokyBeast Tasting Notes

Nose:  Now that is some fire.  The Bruichladdich has an even higher ABV than the Supernova (62.5% this time instead of the Ardbeg's 60.1%).  It's half the age, only five years in the wood instead of nine or ten.  While the 'Nova was very mellow on the nose and you couldn't really feel the smoke until later, we can already tell that this is a different animal.  It's a wickedly peaty bouquet with rubber, blackcned rocks, phenols, spicy vegetals (like that hot pickled okra you can get down south in a jar), a little sultana / white wine stuff going on, and after it opens up for a few minutes some sweet lemon meringue action.

Palate:  The best phrase we can come up with, particularly since it's allergy season is "sinus-clearing".  Or for our friends up in Boston "Wicked Hawt".  It's actually very smooth on the tongue, with less body that the Ardbeg (in other words less thick and oily).  It slides across the tongue almost like a cognac or a smooth wine.  But it's only an illusion because then...

Finish:  Let's just say that this is a drink only a true beast master can love.  The first time we tried Octomore it came completely out of left field.  We were at a bar and just thought the name was interesting so we'd try it.  It was way over the top, like sandpaper on the throat.  Now that we're hardened peat monsters, we really do appreciate this stuff.  But even for us it's not an every day drinker.  Sometimes you're in the mood for a true monster, and this is it.

Guest Judge Comments:

"Nose Lingering smoke, faded richness, slowly some apple comes out. Palate- initially very sweet then becomes an outright charred up smoke bomb. Finish- long with a lot of ash like a slow burning campfire or bar-b-que being extinguished. Tannic and dry. Very resin-y, oily, pork grease."

"Apple wine, musty flavor. My second favorite so far."

"Grass, lemon juice, very peaty with distant petrol & sharp vegetal cardamom."

Stay tuned for the final contender: Kilchoman Barrel Room Single Cask, and then the finale, a judgement from our expert panel on the ultimate smoky beast!



  1. Thank you these reviews are wonderful. I have only recently been introduced to Bruichladdich and I'm loving it.
    In a sharp twist of fate (for a peat lover), lsat night introduced me to the 23 year old Bruichladdich Black Art-- an un-peated monster, that took me by surprise. I can't stop thinking about it.
    I was wondering what you two might think about it, if you've gotten around to try it.


    1. Cheers NN, thanks for the comment. Have not yet tried the Black Art but it's on my short list!