Octomore 02.2 Orpheus

Review 2017-013 «Specifics» Single malt • Bottled in 2009 • 61.0% Alcohol • Matured for 5 years in bourbon and Château Petrus wine casks • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Bruichladdich (owned by Rémy Cointreau) • Rhinns of Islay • Scotland • Limited availability (15,000 bottles) • Difficult to find (price currently >€600) • Whiskybase #12204

STORY. Another Octomore, but now an earlier version from 2009, which is quite expensive nowadays. In fact, a good match for the price of wine in which casks it was partially matured. Luckily the wine is strong enough to match the heavily peated spirit (140 ppm). Heavily peat, obviously, with this time 140 ppm. French oak casks were provided by the famous, Bordeaux chateau, Petrus, which produces the most expensive wines of the Bordeaux region. The spirit that was matured in there was married with some bourbon cask-matured spirit. This release is named after the greek God Orpheus, for a reason I do not completely understand, at least some nice marketing story that has something to do with mystery. Oh yeah, and it was Jim Murray’s best multiple cask whisky of the year in 2010 (whatever that says, of course).

TASTING NOTES

   

APPEARANCE. Futuristic and cool design, colour of the contents is golden with a reddish hue and is wine coloured.

NOSE. This is pungent, direct and impatient. The salted peat screams a bit too loud to hear the fruity wine notes, so… (water) The beast has been tamed and the wine makes its impact now. Salted crackers with jam, rye bread, fruit juice. Like having lunch at sea, with the sea wind blowing in your face. There are the peat, some coals, kiln, hints of tequila, and some green fruits. The fruit and peat keeps challenging each other and both are offering high quality.

TASTE. It is concentrated wine-infused salt and compote of forest fruits, think of “des framboises”, “des fraises” et “des mûres”. The salty peat monster refuses to stand down. (water) Fruit concentrate diluted in sea water is now released. Then cigarette ashes mashed with fruits, which does not seem like a great combo, but it is here. Forest fruits and some apricots can also be find. It gets spicier with lots of pepper.

VERDICT. Great combo and what a closer for these Bruichladdich tasting sessions! High class mix of ultra peated whisky and wine. I find the balance much better than the 7.2, which was also partially finished in a wine cask.

Recommended for the ones that are on holiday in the France and cannot choose between their local wine and their brought-along peated whisky.

Thanks to Norbert for the sample!

What others say

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 88.98 (237 votes)
  • @Allthingswhisky.com: “act of the matter is…the wine influence works phenomenally well here” Score: 89.5/100
  • @Tomswhiskyreviews.com: “The finish is huge and goes on forever so this definitely isn’t the dram you have first in a tasting but it’s certainly a damn good dram”
  • @Whiskyisrael.co.il: “Very complex, masculine ,deep and exciting dram” 89/100
  • Serge @Whiskyfun.com: “I had thought I would dislike this slightly ‘dog-and-pony-show’ bottling but I must confess that I really enjoyed it, even if I like the ‘regular’ Octomores better” Score: 86/100
MY SCORE
Nose
86.5 %
Taste
86.5 %
Balance
86.5 %
Depth
85.5 %
Price
77 %