Scotch – Bruichladdich Octomore 02.2 Orpheus from Master of Malt
The Maker: Bruichladdich Distillery
The Beverage: Octomore 02.2 Orpheus
The Type: Scotch Whisky
The Beverage’s Home: Islay Island, about 35 miles off the Northern Island of Scotland
The Situation: Relaxing on the couch
The sample of Scotch Whisky I will be reviewing today was sent to us by Master of Malt. Master of Malt is an online retailer specializing in Whisky although they also sell a variety of other spirits. You can see the review I did of their other sample here of the Master of Malt – Arran 12 Year Old Single Cask Scotch Whisky. The company is based out of East Sussex, United Kingdom and they ship almost anywhere in the world. The package arrived in Canada in record time and the bottles were extremely well protected. One of the wonderful features offered by Master of Malt besides their huge selection of spirits is the ability to get many of the spirits in a small 3oz sample bottle similar to the one pictured.
The Scotch Whisky being reviewed today is from the Bruichladdich distillery from the island of Islay. Islay is well known as the source of many of the worlds most peaty and smoky whisky’s available. Bruichladdich has a rich history dating back to it’s construction in 1881. The distillery currently has a wide variety of selections which can satisfy a very wide range of customers. Click here to see Master of Malt’s wide offering from this distillery, where they have inexpensive and very rare blends ranging from about $30 all the way up to over $1000!
The blend we are looking at today is called Octomore 02.2 Orpheus and is “the worlds most heavily peated whisky”. It is aged in barrels from a top Bordeaux vineyard called “Château Pétrus”. It is a limited release of only 6000 numbered bottles and weighs in at a hefty 61% alc./vol. It actually has a young age of only 5 years. This Scotch has also won the Best Single Malt in the World (Whisky Bible 2011) and Best Peated Whisky (Malt Maniacs).
As mentioned, this was a sample Dram sent by Masters of Malt but the full size bottle of the Bruichladdich Octomore 02.2 Orpheus comes in an elegant jet black bottle with a silver top. It is quite attractive and uniquely designed.
The Scotch in my glass has a very warm golden tone to it with a shade of amber or reddish hue. It is a fair bit darker the most Scotch Whisky’s and looks delicious.
The claim of the world’s most peated whisky is easily evident in the aroma coming from this glass. Your nose is punched with hefty peat and smoky notes. Once you become accustomed to those aromas you start to pick up some of the woodsy and spicy notes that accompany it.
This Bruichladdich offering is a blast to the taste buds. Right from the first sip you can detect the complexity this Scotch Whisky is built on. The peatiness is very evident but balanced well with the smoky and woodsy flavors. The finish has a touch of dark fruitiness that lingers on the tongue with the peat. There are also hints of spice detectable on the tongue.
The Final Drop:
There is no doubt that the Octomore 02.2 Orpheus from Bruichladdich Distillery is a powerful Scotch Whisky. With it’s high alcohol content and peatiness this is a complex but enjoyable drink. It’s definitely not something you want to drink quickly. In order to enjoy this to it’s fullest you need to take the time to pay attention to each sip and the dance of complex flavors it plays on your tongue.
I have to say that this Scotch Whisky is quite unique from a lot of others that I’ve tried. It’s definitely something that’s worth finding and tasting. Considering it’s limited production and uniqueness the price is actually very fair coming in at just over $80 from Master of Malt.
The Bruichladdich Octomore 02.2 Orpheus is definitely a beverage that will pair extremely well with a full bodied and spicy cigar. The peat, smoke and spice make a perfect pairing. The balance of the two would enhance both the Scotch Whisky and the cigar. Here are some examples of cigars that would pair well here:
– Man O’ War Ruination
– Drew Estate Liga Privada Dirty Rat
– Joya de Nicaragua Dark Corojo
– Illusione Epernay