From one retailer owned brand to another today. The Element of Islay series is owned by the Whisky Exchange website this time. I really like the branding idea here which is a classic setup to make people want to collect. Most versions seem to sell out pretty fast and the first batches of each distillery seem to sell for silly money at auction so I can’t be alone in this thinking.
The second batch was bottled in 2015 at a cask strength of a mighty 64.5%ABV for around £100 probably but now people on WhiskyBase for example are looking for over 200 euros for the 50cl bottle. The cask used was made of American Oak and ex Ribero del Duero which is a spanish red wine. This isn’t a cask type I have tried before although after tasting this whisky I am not sure this is a first fill cask so perhaps we shouldn’t be overly interested in what type of wine cask it is. Like the medicine bottle shape and branding might suggest this whisky has a craft presentation with natural colour and not chill filtering.
Colour – White wine
Nose – very sweet with vanilla and lemon notes. It is buttery with hints of biscuits and cakes cooling after being baked. There is of course a lot of peat smoke which is dry and dirty as you expect from Octomore spirit.
Palate – The texture is very thick and luxurious. There is aniseed, cinnamon and cloves. Sharp fruit notes of white wine rather than tannic notes of red.
Finish – Very long and lingering stale pipe tobacco smoke. More tobacco leaves and a back note of some fruit.
This might be an independent bottling of Octomore but it is full of distillery character and the spirit is to the fore with this one. A peat monster for sure and the wood flavour is coming from the actual oak mostly rather than the wine which was the original occupant of the barrels. Great stuff and well recommended if you can find any now.