Sunday 26 July 2015

Tasted #197: Octomore Orpheus 2.2 (#101drams)

When I wrote my list of #101drams whiskies in very early 2013, I kind of shot myself in the foot with a few of them. They were relatively available at the time, but after procrastinating (or rather, getting through others on the list), some of them became very, very difficult to track down.

#24 Ardbeg Alligator, for example. I tried it soon after compiling the list, but didn't take very comprehensive notes, figuring I'd find it again relatively easily - ha! Luckily I did manage to find it at a bar in Tokyo this year (and finished the bottle!) so notes will be up soon.

#41 Balvenie TUN1401 (any release) also became significantly more expensive and hard to come by than when I wrote the list, but luckily I did manage to track down a dram at Melbourne's Whisky + Alement.

#7 though, Octomore Orpheus, was looking increasingly difficult to track down. With bottles going for $500AUD+, and any bar that previously stocked it long since sold out, I wondered if I'd ever get to try this one...

...and then, just a few months ago, came a very kind offer from @gr8whisky, who offered to send me a dram, noticing that it was still outstanding on my list. This was the second time something like this happened, and was a perfect example of #whiskyfabric in action in my opinion. Cheers Grant!

With the dram safely back in HK, I whipped out a Glencairn and got to tasting....

Bruichladdich Octomore "Orpheus" 2.2 (61% ABV, 5yo, Islay, Scotland, good luck finding a bottle these days)

Colour: Dirty, coppery brown.

Nose: At first, a big whack of peat, but then HUGE BBQ notes. It transported me straight into my fridge, where a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's was sitting. I don't usually get this specific with my tasting notes, but it was actually smack bang on the Sweet Vidalia Onion sauce, which I'd tried a few weeks earlier. With water it became a different whisky, and a lot more typical Islay notes - fishnets and iodine.

Palate: Lemon zest and more BBQ. Some cherries, smoked ribs with dry-rub. Drying and mouth-puckering. Water again amped up the peat and iodine, making it more of a typical Islay peat-monster (which it is, at 140ppm).

Finish: Long and smooth, with a fire at the very back of the throat.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 89/100. Unique, that's for sure. Not sure I loved it, but it was certainly different, and while it did have some of the characteristics I typically get from red wine-finished whiskies (drying, tannic), it had plenty that I don't typically get, too!


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