In-ten-se Release

Epicure Magazine|April 2020

In-ten-se Release
Octomore celebrates its 10th edition, the most unusual yet from Bruichladdich. Famously the most peated whisky in the world, this recent batch comprising four releases is thought-provoking in their cask experiments.

OCTOMORE 10.1 ($279) is aged five years and bottled at 59.8% ABV, which surprises with peat on the palate and not so much on the nose. The deliberate use of just ex- American oak maturation gets to the core of the distillate, bringing rich, oily, biscuit notes with a finish of fudgy sweetness.

OCTOMORE 10.2 is typically the most approachable as the .2s are released for global travel. Aged 8 years in U.S. and Sauternes casks with 96.9 PPM (peat measurement), this is lush, ‘classic’ Octomore as you can get. Fruity ripe peach overlaid with smoke, finishing with long layers of toasted, honeyed BBQ.

OCTOMORE 10.3 ($394) is for the purist, as it is distilled from 2012 barley grown on the original Octomore farm by farmer James Brown. This expression of Islay matured for six years in ex-American oak is preserved at 61.3% ABV, bringing dry, marine notes mingled with pear and gooseberry notes.

OCTOMORE 10.4 ($334) is the youngest release, at just three years old in virgin, high toasted Limousin oak. It picks up a tannic quality and raw flavour and sugars from the casks, defying contention. Warm spices and mellowed peat notes are balanced and mesmerising, with a finish that keeps changing as you drink. A little water won’t hurt this 63.5% hulk.

The signature “Dangerous Drinking Water” menu at operation dagger continues to keep drinkers spellbound under new French head bartender Thomas Girard, formerly from Carbón in Paris. With just a few classics (eg Hot & Cold and Choc Pinot) retained on the menu, the new cocktails include E Kho Qua (Lacto-fermented bitter melon, spinach and whey) and So It Wasn’t Coffee – a play on used coffee grounds and boiled lime husks continue the bar’s ethos of sustainability (all cocktails $25).

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April 2020