Cigar Reviews

Scotch – Bruichladdich Octomore 02.2 Orpheus from Master of Malt

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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 Story:
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).

Image courtesy of Bruichladdich.com

The Bottle:
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 Eyes:
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 Nose:
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.

The Tongue:
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 Pairings:
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

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

11 Comments

  1. Danny Principe

    December 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Nice! This is one I am going to have to try. I love the Islay malts. I always keep a bottle of Lagavulin on hand.

  2. dalamscius

    December 2, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    It’s very tasty Danny, I was especially surprised cause it’s only 5 years old. I’m not sure if they even sell them anywhere else except on the Master of Malt site. Let me know your thoughts if you find one!

  3. Dalamscius

    December 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Just updated the post to include two awards this Scotch Whisky has won recently which were the Best Single Malt in the World (Whisky Bible 2011) and Best Peated Whisky (Malt Maniacs). Very interesting!

  4. Danny Principe

    December 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Yeah,that surprised me too. Its a common misconception that age is always positively correlated with quality. I have had some whiskies where the 12 year is considerably better than the 18, etc. And the opposite is true as well.

    Really cool stuff, definitely keeps it interesting.

  5. Chris Michael Campbell

    December 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks for being a jerk and telling me about Master of Malt haha. My fiancee and my wallet hate you now 😉

  6. dalamscius

    December 4, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Danny, I agree with you complete, some blends are better young and some are fantastic with age. Just like Cigars! lol

    Chris, I know exactly what you mean! lol. I got myself a bunch of drams to try. This a great resource when you can’t find stuff locally. What did you end up ordering?? I’m curious

  7. Jan Mieras

    January 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Can’t wait to try this one! I ordered through Vintages LCBO – hard to find but under Special Offers there and not cheap @ $209. I’m surprised you are able to order in from outside the province as I emailed the distrillery directly and a couple of days after ordering they said that they are no longer able to ship to Ontario due to some LCBO rules?? Anyhow, that’s how i found on the LCBO site and put in the order (pay half now and remainder on arrival) – they are only getting in 292 bottles with arrival in the next month or two….

  8. Dalamscius

    January 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks for the tip Jan!! I had no idea that LCBO carried these but considering the price difference the Master of Malt is definitely a better place to buy it. Let us know what you think when you finally receive it. It was quite a tasty Scotch!
    And sorry about the delay in seeing your comment, sometimes the spam filter causes a delay

  9. Jan M

    January 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Sorry if this is a duplicate but seems my previous comment is gone….. You may still be able to order this from the LCBO Vintages – the vintage website has a special order section where you call them and pre-order/reserve a bottle. Cost is higher than direct from overseas but the distillery said they could no longer ship direct to Canada/Ontario due to LCBO rules, so I’m surprised that the Master of Malt will ship but bonus if so as it is much cheaper.
    Can’t wait to try this as my pre-order won’t arrive for a month or two…….total bottles coming into Ontario this winter is 292 and don’t believe they are sold out yet.
    Enjoy.

  10. Jan M

    January 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Daniel, just tried to order a bottle from Master of Malt by first enquiring about shipping to Ontario and here’s the response; – looks like they’ve cornered the market on booze sales ensuring they get every bit of extreme tax they can……
    Dear Jan

    Thank you for your enquiry. We are currently unable to ship to Canada due to the customs restrictions in place. If this should ever change we will add Canada to our list of destinations.

    Kind regards,
    Lucy Lindfield
    Customer Service

    +44 (0)1892 888 376
    E [email protected]
    W http://www.masterofmalt.com

  11. Dalamscius

    January 11, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for that info. They shipped to me before so maybe this is a new policy. I sent an email to my contact there and I’ll let you know what I hear back. I’m very disappointed if that is true since the prices there are much cheaper then locally.

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