After many days of silence, here we are again: in our trip to Scotland we carefully avoided Islay, to study with more care unpeated malts. Exactly for this reason we decided to start again with the peatiest (can you say peatiest?) of them all (167 ppm): it’s the Comus, the latest Octomore release, super peaty version of Bruichladdich. The malt aged in ex-bourbon casks and finished in Chateau d’Yquem, a very fine sauternes wine. The color is light gold/hay.
N: immediately fragrant, it remains very open, cheeky, despite the ppm and the abv: indeed the ex-bourbon casks hit with tons of vanilla (and a bit of coconut). Really a lot of honey, very low wine influence, at the end of the day a nice smell of Sauternes. Fruity side: quite some lemon, young malt (apricot), hay. But anyway, wasn’t this supposed to be the peatiest ever??? The smoke is present but gentle; suggestions of marine notes. Time and water open to a deep vanilla, sugary notes. There is no wood nor spices or intense fruits. Stereotypical peaty Islay.
P: solid body, but it Sauternes is not for you, better to skip this one. The aging delivers a strong flavor, very intense… of Sauternes, covering everything (even the extreme ppm). Honey, oranges; even with water, wine dominates the scene. There isn’t much more but what is there it’s quite intense. Anyway a good experiment: the water exalts the peated components. A wee acid reaching the end.
F: this is where the Islay side becomes more explicit, the phenols invade the field. Very peated, smoky (ash, dried seaweed). Salty spikes. Honey. Very persistent.
A graceful experiment, let’s say; the different souls of this malt coexist quite well, also if the time spent in Chateau d’Yquem is a bit overpowering on the palate. At the end, anyhow, Islay claim what’s deserved. Our opinion is then 85/100, while Ruben is more generous and here is point of view.
Sottofondo musicale consigliato: Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit.