Chiefeater Review


Unveiling Octomore Series 14 at Whisky House Kuala Lumpur

Post by Chiefeater VK

The windswept shores of Islay, the rugged Scottish isle, have long been known for their distinctive Scotch whiskies. Among these illustrious distilleries stands Octomore, a name synonymous with intensity, character, and innovation. Octomore takes its name from the farm located near the Octomore distillery, established in 1816. It's a name that evokes the wild, rugged beauty of Islay and the passion of those who craft its exceptional spirits.

Origins in Islay

Octomore's history is deeply rooted in the peat-rich soils of Islay. This island is renowned for its unique single malt Scotch whiskies, known for their peaty, smoky, and maritime character. It's within this distinctive landscape that Octomore found its origin, taking inspiration from the surrounding environment to craft spirits that capture the essence of Islay.

Launch Event

I was part of a fortunate group of enthusiasts and press that were part of the Octomore Series 14 launch held at the Whisky House in October 2023.

Abigail Clephane, Global Ambassador of Octomore, was there to introduce to their latest edition.

Series 14: The Impossible Equation

With the release of Series 14, Octomore enters a new chapter in its storied history. This much-anticipated launch signifies Octomore's unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the world of whisky. The brand is known for producing some of the peatiest single malts globally, and Series 14 aimed to uphold and exceed this legacy.

Distilled with quality, not quantity in mind, continues their journey in pushing the boundaries
of whisky making. The latest series explores the influence of terroir, cask management and varying peat levels on final flavour – with each single malt having its own distinct and unique character.

The 14.1 is matured in ex-American oak
Aged for a period of five years within first-fill American whiskey casks, the 14.1 expression exemplifies the inherent strength and promise of its core ingredients. The initial aroma is graced with notes of smoky vanilla and sweet caramel, while a lively citrus element cuts through Octomore's characteristic smokiness, enriched by hints of roasted coffee and subtle spices.

The 14.2 features European oak
From the vast array of over 200 diverse cask types stored in their warehouses, Head Distiller Adam Hannett, has carefully chosen casks previously used to mature Oloroso and Amarone wines. The fusion of these two distinctive flavours – the sweetness and nuttiness – results in an extraordinary single malt. Originating from the renowned wine regions of Spain and Italy, these spirits are harmoniously blended in French oak casks, imparting remarkable depth and complexity to the whiskey.

The 14.3 is distilled from locally grown, Islay barley
Aging in a blend of both initial American whiskey casks and secondary wine casks, the oak influence in this whiskey is discernible yet harmonious, preserving the distinctive character and flavor of Islay barley. The scent of warm, sweet mash is unmistakable, accentuated by the gentle, biscuity undertones of malted barley that harmonize with the earthy peat smoke. As the smoky peat subsides, a creamy porridge and cereal essence from the Islay barley coexists with the flavors of butterscotch, honeycomb, and a subtle touch of vanilla.

A Surprising Twist - Less Smoke, More Complexity

Octomore's previous releases had garnered legendary status for their intense smokiness, but this time, the whisky was different. It was surprisingly less smoky than expected, offering a unique opportunity to explore a broader spectrum of flavours and aromas. This subtle approach allowed for the intricate exploration of Octomore's complex character, offering layers of depth that captivated the senses.

The Art of Pairing: Chef Bernice's Creations at Whisky House Kuala Lumpur

To make this momentous occasion even more special, Octomore 14 was paired with the culinary creations of Chef Bernice at Whisky House in Menara TS Law. The combination of gourmet dishes with Octomore's unique peaty whisky created a sensory symphony that was nothing short of extraordinary.

The flavours, textures, and aromas of Chef Bernice's dishes harmonized beautifully with the whisky, enhancing and elevating the tasting experience. It was a delightful celebration of Octomore's rich heritage, as well as a glimpse into the brand's exciting future.

The introduction of Octomore's latest series, the Octomore 14, is not just a continuation of the brand's legacy but a bold step into new territory. With its surprising balance of peat and intricate flavour profile, Series 14 delighted whisky enthusiasts and left them eagerly awaiting more. Here's to Octomore and the exciting future that awaits in the world of peaty Scotch whisky!

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