Writer’s Block

My mother always used to tell me that if you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything. What I have is the opposite problem. Bruichladdich has been winning awards for its products, and those were initially based on careful blending of the malts that had been aging since the prior mothballing of the distillery. The initial products from the new make spirit have also been doing well, in terms of public enthusiasm and the awards that Bruichladdich has won within the whisky industry.

The public enthusiasm has been stoked by the limited nature of the expressions produced by Bruichladdich as well as some truly unusual expressions like for instance the quadruple-distilled X4 and the new Port Charlotte series. The enthusiasm peaked when the distillery announced that it was selling futures in the expression they named Octomore, after the eponymous farm near the distillery. The futures sold out, and the waiting began.

Last week Bruichladdich announced on their blog that the Octomore futures owners would be receiving either notifications about, or their actual bottles, in the near future. I found the announcement confusing since it sounded like the futures owners would be getting a product that was different than what will become commercially available in the near future as well. I’ll quote:

Octomore: the release notification for the  futures bottling of Octomore will be going out to Futures owners later  this week. The distillery bottling, assembled from multiple casks with various attributes that together, as one would expect/hope, bring an extra complexity to the bottling – will follow probably next month. Be prepared for a surprise.

What I can’t parse is whether the “futures bottling” and the “distillery bottling” are one and the same or not. The second sentence makes it sound like they are different — otherwise why make a comparison? Extra complexity compared to what? I suppose this only makes sense if they are referring to the same bottling in both sentences. Also, why mention “next month” and “a surprise”? Unless all the futures owners had already visited the distillery and tasted the product, it’s hard to know why they’d be surprised, unless it will be even peatier than expected.

As we recall, the Octomore is just over 80 ppm phenol, and should appeal to the “peat freaks” (not a disparaging term, I assure you) among us. The Octomore II (I’m not sure if futures in this expression have been sold yet…) clocks in at over 160 ppm phenol. When I hear numbers like that, I ponder: What would the phenol content be for tea made from powdered peat? I have to think that Octomore is higher. 🙂

As people start receiving their Octomore, I expect them to be posting on the Whisky Magazine forums, where I have been hanging out lately. I’ll report back here when I hear more.

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2 Comments»

  tmaufer wrote @

There is really no clarity in the market re: Octomore futures, so I shouldn’t feel bad, but check out this discussion thread on Whisky Magazine’s forums: http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9581

If you scroll down to the end, you’ll find that the first folks *seem* to have been alerted to their Octomore being available.

  tmaufer wrote @

BTW, it’s become clear to me that Octomore isn’t the first time that Bruichladdich has sold futures. I think the excitement around Octomore (and Octomore II) is the über-peatiness, to coin a term.


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