A Trio of 9.x Octomore Dialogos

Dialogos ( διάλογος ): a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange.

Another trio of the latest batch of octomores is upon us and this is a time to be merry! I know many fans of this Octomore, the iconic black, super-duper-heavily-peated whisky from one of my favorite distilleries out there – Bruichladdich. Earlier in November I was lucky to visit once again, and it’s indeed a magical place. We did manage to sample some casks including an older 10 year old Octomore.

This time around the 9.x are referred to as “Dialogos” which is what Bruichladdich wants you to engage in (in their own words):

“Only upon tasting Octomore will you truly understand its potential. It’s
undeniable ability to stimulate critical thinking is refreshed with each new
edition. Drawing out ideas and challenging underlying presumptions; is
age the most important factor? Is 60% alcohol unpalatable? Do extreme
PPM levels sacrifice sophistication? Octomore answers with a defiant NO.
The distillers at Bruichladdich welcome these conversations to their
doorstep, themselves questioning the elements that may contribute
towards the depth and balance of each youthful drop. Is it in the sourcing
of the raw ingredients? The careful selection of the wood’s quality
and style? Or is it in the influence of nature; weather, climate, soil?”

 

The first one is the 09.1 – Distilled in 2012 from 100% Scottish barley, the 09.1 is matured full-term in top-tier ex-American whiskey casks. 156 PPM , 42,000 bottles.

Octomore 09.1 ‘Dialogos’ 5 yo ,59,1%, OB 2018 , £116 (MOM)

Nose: sweet barley notes, some Mezcal as well, seaweed and Crème brûlée, it’s octomore almost nude, which is lovely, and lets you get to know the distillate without many masks. Creamy, some ash, soot but the sweetness dominates all. 
Palate: butterscotch and vanilla on top of sweet cheesecake,and ash. Sweet barley juices, tar and a nutty peppery edge too,not as lactic as some.. Good or bad? You be the judge 
Finish : dry, bitter and ashy, tarry notes too. 
A very ‘natural’ Octomore, so to speak. One to definitely try and I can see it’s being a favorite among quite a few Octomore lovers, but not as “wide” and complex as one would expect (even though they are all 5 years old..)

Score: 85/100

we continue to the next Octomore the 09.2  – Distilled in 2012, this muscular liquid has spent four years maturing in ex-American oak casks before being recasked into the finest French oak. Carefully selected from the Bordeaux region (Margaux). This is as always with the x.2 Octomores is a Travel Retail edition (Duty Free shops only). 156 PPM, only 12,000 bottles.

Octomore 09.2 ‘Dialogos’ 5 yo  , 58,2%, OB 2018, travel retail

Nose: meaty and Sulfur-y, spent matches and gunpowder if you will.. The wine is strong here, young Padawan!  Red fruit, berry jam, Peat reek and balsamic. 
Palate: big wine tannins, red fruit, more smoke, dry, Peat and more sulfur, quite vinous,cigar, leather and more wood. Marinated meat in BBQ. 
Finish : cinnamon, red fruit marmalade, tobacco and smoke.
This is more like it! wine cask influence lovers will adore this, but for me the wine influence is a tad too strong, even for the huge Octomore distillate. Good stuff at any rate, if you want to pick up one when you’re going on vacation.

Score: 87/100

The last of the Octomores is the 09.3 – just 52 tonnes of precious Islay barley were malted to produce this single farm Octomore 09.3 edition. Raised in Irene’s Field on Octomore Farm in 2011, this uber-provenance single malt was later distilled and filled into 134 casks. Predominantly second-fill, the gentler influence of the wood allows more of the locally grown barley flavors to shine. – 18,000 bottles

Octomore 09.3 ‘Dialogos’ 5 yo , 62,9%, OB 2018 , £193 (MOM)

Nose: quite different, not as sweet as the last two, more wood, some grassy notes, lovely oak, and dirty dunnage, with hints of lemon grass, wax and wet hessian and bandages. 
Palate:  creamier and bit sweeter, with more of the waxy notes, thick and smoky. Quite salty as well, with nice smokiness, black tea, and a nice creamy finish. 
Finish : salted caramel filled Chocolate, some smoke, bitter cocoa. 

Lovely stuff, the most complex of the three. very well done. Available at Master of Malt for 193 quid.

Score: 89/100

 

Very good stuff as always, and Octomore lovers will certainly enjoy one or two if not the entire range. Good work, and what a splendid liquid this is at only 5 years of age.  Slainte!

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