After the wonderful Barolo finished (Nebbiolo grapes) Longrow, we’re staying in peat-land but this time we are moving from Campbletown to Islay – home of the Bruichladdich distillery.
A lot has been said about Bruichladdich, for good and for worse, but the fact is that in recent years they have been experimenting with all sorts of casks, finishes , up to the extent that they have even tried finishing spirit in Kosher Carmel wine casks originating in Israel, yes Israel. My good friend Josh has reviewed this expression in a post a few months ago, and was not really impressed. On the other hand, The Octomore 2.2 by Bruichladdich (finished in Chateau Petrus wine casks) is an amazing young peaty monster of a dram, and i love it dearly. So, some turn out quite exquisite while others are not that good. Let’s see how this one measures.
The Infinity 3 was created from a vatting of casks made only from Spanish grown Quercus Alba (oak) – refill sherry and Ribero (tempranillo) casks. This vatting consisted of several ages of casks, styles and peating levels all chosen by whisky master and vatting ‘wizard’ Jim Mcewan.
Tempranillo is a variety of black grape which is widely grown in Spain (and native to it). It’s the main grape in the ‘Rioja’ Spanish wine region and is referred to as Spain’s ‘Noble Grape’. It’s name is derived from the Spanish word ‘temprano’ which means early, since it ripens a few weeks earlier than other Spanish ‘red’ grapes.
Colour: beautiful sanguine copper
Nose: wine notes , some red fruit and Peaty sweetness. Condensed milk and some fruit salad. Wee smoke, and the signature ‘Laddie’ DNA is there. Think of Octomore 2.2, but a lot weaker and and not as aggressive.
Palate: Sherry. Spice. Chilly. Burnt sugar. rather Winey. Big and Powerful delivery. Peat and sherry nicely combined. Some hints of tropical fruit (papaya) , but dominated by the Chilly.
Finish: Long,Spicy, continuing on the chilly theme.
Bottom line : The nose is very pleasant for me, as i am a ‘Laddie’ nose lover (if such a thing exists). I really find it more and more that i dig the peated laddie nose. The palate is also interesting, although not as striking as the Gaja Barolo, and the chilly spiciness is nice, but i am not sure i like that much chilly in my finish and palate.
All in all it’s a nice dram, but i do prefer the Non wine finished 3D3 if we’re talking vatting wizardry (remember, 3 warehouses, 3 distilleries, 3 peating levels – 3D3).And if i am in a wine mood, the Octomore 2.2 will deliver both the sweet wine notes, and those BIG peaty notes we’re looking for.