I must say, that it was indeed a difficult path to get one of these bottles to my hands. Since Bruichladdich’s latest incarnations of Octomore and Port Charlotte PC11 are sold in travel retail only, it’s been extremely hard to find these drams. Finally some bottles arrived onto Finland-Sweden cruise ships, but the difficulties did not stop there. At last, asking around came to conclusion.. I received a bottle during Christmas! the joy and the delight, after the holidays it was time to open the bottle.. and to notice it was severely faulty at the cap! Fully wet, it had leaked also some of the precious contents out – and the cap broke due to it’s wetness when trying to pry it open. At that point I decided, it is pointless trying to proceed and instead admit that Octomore 6.2. was out of my reach. It must have been destiny. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good dram after all..
But since I am writing this article, new arrow of destiny hit deep onto my backside. When travelling to Tallinn for a day and browsing ship’s whisky shelf there it was.. PC11 and on top of that, there were many bottles of Octomore 6.2. present too! Oh joy, it was Holidays all over again! Finally, finally, I got the bottle for opening and one for long term storage. And yes, I did check caps of all bottles before paying for those. the luck had turned!
Yesterday, it was a great day to remove the metals of Octomore 6.2. – again – and finally hearing the pleasant sound when the cap is retracted. Pouring the dram onto Glencairn glass ended the long await. Sure this liquid had lots of anticipation dripped into it.
What is Octomore 6.2.? It is the latest 5 year old Octomore, which has been matured in ex Eaux de Vie (French Limousin Oak) barrels. Eaux de Vie needed some searching, but I found it was French water of life , clear colorless fruit brandy. Octomore limited release is 18 000 bottles and it is stored in it’s potent form (58.2%).
The color is light and resembles amber. Nose is strong, but not too attacking. There is lots of peat and smoke present, but also sweetness and vanilla. It begs for a taste, and I am most happy to oblige.
The taste has first traditional Octomore qualities. It is strong, peaty and smoky. Put a hot coal in your mouth, and you know the feeling. Surprisingly quickly, however, it turns onto sweetness and less harsh. Lots of similarity with Comus (4.2.) due to sweetness but this one is easier to enjoy that Comus was. This is a dance in the local club, you don’t go for the medieval party this time. There is joy, there is happiness and character. Indeed, 6.2. is an interesting mix of peatfire and fruit sweetness.
The aftertaste is shorter and less vibrant than usually with Octmores. There is no strong ending, it just fades away. What this lacks, is some kick. It is a bit too easy, too sweet and domesticated than I expected. Looking for strong tastes, there isn’t none that is over the top than usually.
Later, after a while – the oak and vanilla find their way into my tongue and mouth. With oak, the taste is somewhat bitter and really woody. Like chewing a treant or fine oar.
Overall, I do love this whisky. The journey to find the bottle insists that I like it, or I weep and like it. Tasting past that, this is not as big hit as I wanted this one to be. It is a good whisky. Great whisky. And compared to some earlier Octomores, the price is a bit more reasonable (less than 100€ anyway). It is easier, classy, domesticated and most likely will attract more Octomore friends than earlier, harder, versions. This won’t be the whisky to ends the tasting series, but it is still breathing, panting and kicking – being alive – and will stand tall and proud amongst most of it’s Islay fellows.
(no Whisky was harmed while taking these photos)