Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1 & 8.3

Octomore 8.1, 59.3% ABV, 8 years old, $160 CAD.

100% first fill American oak from Buffalo Trace, Clemont Springs, Four Roses, Heaven Hill and Jack Daniels distilleries. Scottish barley. 167 PPM. 42,000 bottles produced.

  • Nose: Lemon, a floral sweetness, black treacle, licorice, sweet straw, creamy peat,  and a faint wood note.
  • Taste: Grilled lemon, treacle, salt water, cantaloupe, floral.
  • Finish: Very long, slightly drying, oak, mild salt, and peat notes linger.
  • Thoughts: The nose is really really good, undoubtedly an Octo. The peat is more subtle here than in other versions. Its surprising light on the palate. Possibility due to 8 years in the cask vs the normal 5?  If you’re an Ocotmore fan I’m not sure you will appreciate the extra age. I think its taken a little of the edge off. That being said its still a great expression and I’m really enjoying it. My lowest score for an Octomore but it’s like picking your least favorite child, you know you have one, but you still love them all anyway. Alberta continues to be the best place on earth to buy Ocotomore. $160 Canadian? All day!
  • Score: 88 + 1.5 value point(s) = 89.5/100

Ocotmore 8.3, 61.2% ABV, 5 years old, $205 USD.

56% ex-bourbon and 44% European oak. Islay barley. 309 PPM (heaviest peated scotch to date) 18,000 bottles produced.

  • Nose: Peaches, cream corn, whipped butter, light peat, grilled lemon, bbq char, smoked salmon, white pepper.
  • Taste: Pepper, lemon, dark chocolate, peaches, seaweed, bbq char, farm land.
  • Finish: Extremely long, creamy; pepper, peat and char notes linger.
  • Thoughts: Yes! This is what I’m about. 8.3 reminds me a lot of 6.3, which is my favorite. Back to that amazing bbq char and earth notes I love. The peach fruit compliments it so well, and the pepper spiciness rounds it out. Had to pay a lot to source this out of California, but what can ya do? Gotta have it.
  • Score: 91.5 – 1 value point(s) = 90.5/100

Overall thoughts: These need so much time to open up. When cracking a bottle I recommend pouring 3 to 4 ounces into a smaller bottle just to let the air do it’s work over a 3 to 4 week span. The richness and complexities are better showcased the more time the bottle is open. Overall Im really liking the 8 series. I wish the 8.1 was a little more like the 6.1 or 7.1. I’d be interested to know why they decided to bottle it at 8 years. Either way its Octomore, its cask strength, its heavily peated nectar. You need it.

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Scores:

After my initial score I add or subtract points relative on how I perceive value (based on what I paid for the bottle). A zero value means I think the price is justified.

0-69.5 – Don’t bother trying, life is too short for bad spirit.
70-79.5 – Worth trying, but you’re not missing out if you don’t.
80-84.5 – I recommend trying.
85-87.5 – Definitely try this!
88-92.5 – I recommend buying a bottle blind!
93-95.5 – Stuff you reserve for special pours!
96+ – The meaning of life.
IMG_20180213_200549
My previous scores (excluding value points):
Amrut Spectrum 004                                 87.5
Ardbeg 10                                                     88.0
Ardbeg An Oa                                              89.0
Ardbeg Corryvrickan                                 91.5
Ardbeg Kelpie                                              91.5
Ardbeg Uigeadail                                        90.0
Balvenie 15 Single Barrel – Sherry          89.0
Blanton’s Gold                                             86.5
Booker’s (2015-01)                                      89.5
Bowmore 12                                                 83.5
Bowmore Devil’s Casks 3                           87.0
Bruichladdich Octomore 6.1                     92.0
Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3                     93.0
Bruichladdich Octomore 7.1                     90.5
Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3                     90.5
Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1                     88.0
Bruichladdich Octomore 8.3                     91.5
Canadian Club 40                                        86.5
Caol Ila 12                                                     82.5
Compass Box – Enlightenment                 88.0
Compass Box – Peat Monster                    84.5
Eagle Rare 10                                                83.5
Elmer T. Lee                                                  87.0
Glendronach 12 Original                           84.0
Glendronach 15 Revival                             90.0
Glendroanch 18 Allardice                          90.0
Glendronach 21 Parliament                      91.0
Glenfarclas 17                                              88.0
Glenfarclas 25                                              92.0
Highland Park 15                                         87.0
Highland Park 25                                         92.0
Jack Daniel’s SB-BP (16-0574)                   89.0
Kavalan Solist – Ex-Bourbon (57.8)         87.5
Kavalan Solist – Ex-Bourbon (KavaFan) 93.0
Kavalan Solist – Port Cask (KavaFan)      92.0
Kavalan Solist – Sherry Cask (58.7%)       90.5
Kavalan Solist – Vinho Barrique (57%)   89.5
Lagavulin 16                                                 90.0
Laphroaig 10                                                86.0
Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira 2016          87.5
Lot No. 40                                                      86.0
Lot No. 40 Cask Strength 12yr                   89.0
Macallan 12 Double Cask                           80.0
Macallan 12 Fine Oak                                 84.0
Macallan 17 Fine Oak                                 88.0
Macallan 18 Fine Oak                                 86.0
Macallan 10 Sherry                                     85.5
Macallan 12 Sherry                                     86.5
Macallan 18 Sherry (1997)                         92.5
Macallan Cask Strength 58.2%                  94.0
Macallan Classsic Cut 2017                        85.5
Macallan Edition 2                                      90.0
Macallan Edition 3                                      89.0
 Orphan Barrel – Barterhouse                   88.0
Pappy Van Winkle 23yr                             93.5
Sazerac Rye                                                   86.0
Stagg Jr. (Batch 4)                                        83.0
Talisker 25                                                    89.0
W.L. Weller 12                                              85.0
William Larue Weller (2017)                    91.0

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