Nose: Red berries, mixed berry jam, plums; sweet, but not sugary – more of the fruit smoothie sweetness than the dried fruits often talked about with sweeter fruity whiskies. Also notes of honey-laden fruit salad with melons, grapes, and apples. Plenty of fresh clean campfire smoke intertwined with all the fruit.
Palate: All that sweet fruitiness from the nose has marched right along to the palate. The smoke is now even more present, and has brought with it some BBQ jerky. A little ashy, with just a hint of dark chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Thick. Oily. Creamy. Everything you dream a whisky should feel like. A bit of warmth, but barely a tickle of alcohol burn.
Finish: Long, really long. The red fruits and jerky are still present, but fading. The dark chocolate has been joined by some coffee and chilli. The finish is a little bit spicy – especially compared to the nose and the palate, but not unbalanced. The smoke feels like it will be hanging around for years.
The second in Adam Hannett’s Octomore Eights “Masterclass”, and the only Travel Retail Exclusive of the range. Like the 8.1, the 8.2 is 8 years old; and was also peated to 167ppm. Made from 100% Scottish barley, with 36,000 bottles filled – with no added colouring, and no chill-filtration, at a cask strength of 58.4%.
This is good whisky. I may have had issues with the 8.1, but with this whisky, Adam and his team get 2 gold stars. Rich, juicy, sweet, and smokey, with a lucious creamy mouthfeel – everything you want from an Octomore.
This whisky was aged for a full 6 years in one of three different wine casks – French Mourvedre, French Sauternes, and Austrian sweet wines – before being married together in Italian Amarone casks for a final 2 years prior to bottling.
You’d be forgiven for expecting this many wine casks, with nary an ex-Bourbon barrel to be seen, would create a bit of an overpowering mess. If so though, your expectations will not be met – the whole package has come together in a beautifully balanced whisky.
As with all of the x.2 Octomore releases in recent years, the 8.2 was a travel retail exclusive release.