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Bruichladdich Octomore 14.2




Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.2

Tasting Notes:

Distilled in 2017 from a 2016 harvest of 100% Scottish grown Concerto barley; malted to a very smoky 128.9 ppm; aged for five years in a combination of first fill Oloroso hogsheads (40%), first fill Amarone casks (16%) and second fill Amarone casks (44%); bottled at 57.7% ABV; price starts at $219.99.
This has a very rich, warm and inviting amber hued color going on in the glass. There’s great viscosity and legs in the glass as well.
The peat is a bit more pronounced in this one versus the 14.1. Running alongside this are juicy notes of fig jam, orange peel, caramel, toffee, and some subtle floral considerations.
Boom, smoke. The casks for this offering’s aging time really highlight that campfire sensation more, driving alongside it some caramel, baking spice, peach, vanilla, maple syrup and cherry.
Long and luxurious, being full bodied and smoky in a very slowly trailing off way.
This is a stunningly well built experiment in how cask management can tame but also help bring forth the best nuances of peat smoke in a flavor profile. The European casks used in this whisky really do the trick in making Bruichladdich Octomore 14.2 worth the price tag.

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

The Islay-based distillery of Bruichladdich is known for its multiple, innovative Scotch whisky product lines. Of these, the Octomore single malts in particular focus on showcasing some of the world’s most heavily peated whiskies, and for 2023 the Octomore 14 line up once again brought forth some very smoky monsters.

The Octomore series was first distilled back in 2002, with the first bottles coming to market in 2008. Usually five years old, the series breaks down along three main offerings:

  • x.1 – distilled from 100% Scottish mainland barley and matured predominantly in American bourbon or whiskey casks.
  • x.2 – distilled from 100% Scottish mainland barley with a focus on European cask influences.
  • x.3 – distilled from 100% Islay grown barley in a “single farm, single field, single vintage” model and matured in a combination of American and European oak.

At the heart of all these expressions is a desire by the Bruichladdich distillery team, led by Head Distiller Adam Hannett, to push the boundaries of peated whiskies in ways which explore raw ingredients, terroir influence and cask experimentation. As noted by Hannett at the time of this series’ 2023 release, “these fundamentals are inherent to each Octomore series, and the latest collection is no different. Each of the 14s has its own distinct character while staying true to the Octomore DNA, and this series showcases what can be achieved when we consider every element which contributes to the depth, balance and complexity of each drop of whisky.”

The one I’m reviewing here today is Octomore 14.2. It, like the 14.1, was distilled in 2017 from a 2016 harvest of 100% Scottish grown Concerto barley that was malted to a very smoky 128.9 ppm. Whereas, however, 14.1 was matured in ex-American whisky casks, this expression was matured entirely on Islay for five years in a combination of first fill Oloroso hogsheads (40%), first fill Amarone casks (16%) and second fill Amarone casks (44%). It was later bottled at 57.7% ABV, being both un-chill filtered and of natural color. Pricing starts at $219.99.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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