This spirit was distilled in December 2005 using malt peated to a colossal 167ppm. Filled into Fresh Bourbon and Grenache Blanc casks, it spent the next decade slumbering in P2, the ancient stone warehouse in the village of Port Charlotte, close to the western shore of Loch Indaal.
In this second edition of ten year old, the unique texture of Octomore is lifted further by the smooth, sweet fruit of Grenache and engages perfectly with the phenolic depth. Just 18,000 bottles exist, presented at 57.3% alc.vol. with a splash of Islay spring water. 18,000 individually numbered bottles only.
The Octomore DNA is evident as soon as the cork is popped. The smoke is closely intertwined with the rich and fruity toasted oak of the Grenache casks. Wisps of smoky iodine, leather, polish, Nutella, ginger syrup, walnuts and orange peels compete for your attention before allowing the fruit to come into its own as lemon and green apples are held together in the grip of the typical Octomore smoky, salty rope, marine character.
The heat from the natural strength is tempered by the wonderful texture in this whisky, not only has 10 years of maturation in fabulous American Bourbon and French Grenache casks allowed the phenol level to calm it has allowed the viscous, oil rich body of the whisky to build a strong confident character. The balance of smoke, oak and fruit is different from other Octomores, as the phenols naturally fade with age the fabulous casks develop a strong hold on the spirit, salted caramel, marzipan vanilla and crusty malty bread.
Given time eventually the power will fade, though after a couple of sips you may be forgiven for thinking your palate is altered forever as the smoke ligers for fully an hour! As ever the dry peat smoke will be the last flavour to remain reminiscent of pipe tobacco ash and peat tea, an island delicacy of tea brewed over a peat fire while gathering peats on the moss. this whisky is scarce, if you are lucky enough to taste it, treasure it.
This dram is bright and honest and has depth and backbone. Watching this spirit is develop is a privilege as there is a feeling with Octomore that there will always be a secret to revealed.