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.
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.