Octomore 9.3 Islay Barley Dialogos 70cl 62.9°
The concept of the 9.3 Islay Barley edition from Octomore is to make a Single Malt with barley from a single field of a single Islay farm to make a vintage.
The conditions on the island of Islay are particularly difficult to grow barley. It is this challenge that the distillery has decided to offer a whisky that expresses both the land of Islay, the product of its harvest and the expertise of the people who make the island live.
To produce this Octomore 9.3 Islay Barley Dialogos edition, only 52 tonnes of Concerto barley from Irene's Field in Islay, Scotland were used. Barley was malted at 133 ppm* making Octomore 9.3 one of the most peaty whiskies with also the Octomore 9.1 version which is even more peaty.
The distillation of this barley took place in 2012 and allowed to fill 134 casks in which the whisky aged for five years on the island of Islay: 25% of US casks of 1st filling, 25% of virgin casks of 3rd, 20% of Rivesaltes casks of 2nd filling, 20% in 2nd refilling Syrah casks and 10% in Bourbon casks. A combination of casks containing American whiskey and French wine.
The softer influence of the wood of the second filling barrels allows to develop the malty flavours of the whisky to balance the power of the peat. The Single Malt was bottled without filtration or coloring, directly at the Bruichladdich distillery.
This whisky is a limited edition of 18,000 bottles worldwide.
*PPM - parts per million - of phenolic compounds, measure the impact of oily smoke from peat that settles on germinated barley during drying. The longer this time, the higher the ppm value.
|Maturation||Bourbon & French wine|
The peated whiskies of Islay are 30 to 45 ppm*. The first Octomore 1.1., released in 2007, is peated to 131ppm. And one of the last releases, the 6.3. is peated to 258ppm…
Jim McEwan from the Bruichladdich distillery recalls the philosophy by which the distillery crafted the Port Charlotte and Octomore whiskies: “When I asked Bairds, our Inverness malting house, to produce heavily peated barley, it was only curiosity. Just to see what would happen. I had in mind the taste of slow cold-smoked salmon, and I wanted to apply this to whisky. The barley took 5 days to dry… Then, I never asked to raise the peat level, this simply happened. Just like the waves on the sea, you do not always see the bigger ones rolling.”
A rare fact in Scotland, the Bruichladdich distillery uses an open mash tun. Its onion-shaped stills have a very flat base and a slender body. During distillation, alcohol vapours rise slowly, imparting finesse and elegance to the whisky.
With each release, Octomore has been developing even more depth and peated notes. Donald McKenzie, Octomore manager for the Dugas Company in France, deems that “Octomore is a technical whisky, a heavily peated, oily and powerful challenge but still extremely refined. It is a rare, excessive, exceptional whisky.”
The Octomore versions are classified by two numbers separated by a dot. The first number is the batch, the second one is an indication of the whisk maturation. 1 for 100% Bourbon casks, 2 for various cask types. 3 refers to the use of Islay barley.
*PPM - phenols parts per million, measuring the influence of the oily smoke peat infusing the germinated barley during the drying process. The longer the exposure, the highest the ppm value is. A well peated Islay whisky reaches a 40-50 ppm. But every whisky still develops its very own character and mouthfeel sensation, depending on the style of each distillery.