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The first release in Octomore's four-strong Masterclass series, 8.1 is made using Scottish barley and is peated to 167ppm. Aged in American-oak barrels, this is fruity and smoky with notes of vanilla, melon, citrus and marzipan.
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This Scotch changed my life! I thought I knew Scotch but I was wrong! Until you've tried 8.1 Masterclass you haven't tried Scotch.
I tried this at Heathrow Airport about a month agp. The amount I was given was tiny, but the experience was nigh on the spiritual. I'll admit I love peaty Scotch - the close to the bottom of an ashtray the better. This was peaty, wonderfully so, but doesn't have the TCP/bandaid overtones of Lagavullin. The thimbleful I was given evaporated in my mouth, leaving a wonderful taste, though I wonder if in greater volume it could be harsh. I also tried it with a little water, which did it no favours - odd for something that strong. I nearly bought a bottle, but it isn't cheap and wife was frowning at me so not that time. I would like to try a glass and see if my concerns about it its fieriness are confirmed. That said in the volume I tried it, it was heavenly.
I have to disagree with the bad reviews. I find this scotch to be exceptional – sweetness up front, banana and pineapple in the middle, and then smoke. Considering the alcohol content, I find this easy to drink neat.
Lots of alcohol and lots of peat but not much else. The 8.2 is a lot better than this one.
Burning and peat. That's it. No complexity, and frankly a disappointment from Bruichladdich.
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