Tasted with the following Octomores: 01.1 (85 pts.), 02.2 (84), 03.1 (82), 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.
Tarry and woodsmoky, but the bourbonwood isn't as big on the nose as in 1.01. A little citric and farmy, with a smidgen of flour. With water: a supermarket pickle tank. Becomes dryer and less vivid. Seems better neat.
The body's rounder and richer than 1.01. A good amount of bourbon (almost like a Scottish-American blend), engine oil, and tons of turfy peat. Sweet tar candy. Sadly, water kicks it in the teeth and takes the fight out of it completely.
Chalky and bourbon sweet. With water: ashy tar.