The very first Octomore. Before the fancy bottle and X.1.2.3 etc came this venerable beauty. A masterpiece of creative craftsmanship that was never sold at retail.
It’s young & feisty and perhaps not the better for having been watered down, but for all that, as a first stab at a new breed of super heavily peated whisky this was exceptional, especially considering the time. Remember, this isn’t a recent creation, this was distilled nearly 20 years ago now.
If you see this at auction, walk away, don’t spend your money, this is an original bargain to be savoured by all those who already have a bottle and forgotten about by those who don’t. If you’re coming to this hoping for a raw experience from the dawn of the Octomore dynasty you will be disappointed.
The first smell is a sign of what Octomore was to become. It’s a more raw smoke with less of the burnt meats that will come to signify Octomore. Much more Laphy like, but with a softness you don’t get from Laphy 10CS. It becomes vegetal briefly, think overcooked sprouts and then it fades to brine and seaweed.
Taste: Slightly vegetal at first, someone else said they think this comes from the BT casks, that’s a good call. It fades for me quite quickly and a wonderfully soft and complex seaside scene presents itself. Slaty sea air, damp rope, algae and brine are all present. Overlaid with a lovely zesty citrus note.
Finish: It’s not long, heavily toasted malt, that brine makes a reappearance and there’s a peppery note in the finish that I absolutely love.