I'm not at all taken with this one due to reasons disclosed below. If your palate doesn't pick up that spicy tang mine did, you may like this a lot more. After all, it did get a shared 2nd place in the all tasters poll after the tasting.
Tasted with the following Octomores: 01.1 (85 pts.) 02.1 (84), 02.2 (84), 04.1 (88), and 04.2 (83). While 04.1 was my favourite, Nearly half of the attending tasters voted 02.2 their top dram of the night.
Some interesting tidbits mentioned during the tasting: There are among other factors two pretty big ones for why Octomore's peat tastes the way it does. The first is that all the peat is from the mainland, as Octomore does not use Port Ellen maltings or Islay peat. The second is that Bruichladdich's stills are loaded only to around 60% capacity and driven very carefully, so there is a lot of copper contact going on, which explains why the whisky's stated PPM level does not translate directly to the level of peatiness you experience when nosing and tasting it.
In retrospect tasting 6 cask strength Octomores was the most difficult tasting I've ever been in. If regular peated Islay whisky can at times provide magnificent detail and contrast comparable to the Dutch master painters, having nothing but Octomore feels like trying to replicate a Rembrandt with a paint roller. The loudness of the phenols and the tight ABV clog the senses, so I could only finish the glass I deemed the best, and had to let my overworked nose and palate rest after that. An interesting experience in total, but I don't think I want to do it again.
Sweet oak and spent matches. The fireplace of a sauna. A bit of sweat. With water: a spent match dipped in sweet lemon juice, and some wheat flour. This is rather austere compared to the other Octomores on the table (see above).
Round and not as madly peaty as 02.2, but what is this cardamom/cinnamon note? It's like a supermarket cinnamon roll, and it's abrasively loud. With water: no luck, still getting this persistent out of tune spice note. I wonder what happened here?
Just waiting for the cardamom to leave. Fffffff.