super-heavily peated predecessors. Distilled patiently from the 2015 harvest of 100% Scottish Mainland barley, malted to a stratospheric 137.3PPM and matured in the highest quality American oak casks, this five-year-old spirit is truly remarkable.
Acting as the backbone of the 13th Octomoreseries, the 13.1 offers a necessary comparison from which the other expressions alternate. Always balancing the strength of the Octomore spirit with a graceful, understated maturation in
ex-American oak, this single malt is a testament to the trust our head distiller, Adam Hannett, has in the quality of his ingredients. Without more than patience and an understanding of how the flavours will evolve, this single malt perfectly personifies the courage of Octomore as a concept.
After five aged years in first fill ex-American oak casks, Adam has offered a unique twist in this 13.1, having gathered and recasked the spirit in 2021 into yet more fresh, first fill ex-American oak casks. This final injection of flavour, taken from the interaction between the spirit and the oak offers additional flavours of dark toffee, coconut and vanilla.
Octomore 13.3 demonstrates the phenomenal force of flavour when combining super-heavy peat with the variable harvests gathered from the island of Islay, on one singular farm. Raised by friend and farmer James Brown, just two miles south of the distillery, this crop of Concerto barley was distilled in 2016 from the 2015 growing season, has been
patiently coaxed through our Victorian distillery before being filled into first fill ex-American oak casks and second fill European oak casks.
Working with Islay barley is always a privilege. The ability to present it in a single estate, single vintage, single malt is perhaps even more poetic. From year to year, Head Distiller Adam Hannett works with the base spirit bestowed upon him by the grower, together with natural factors; the changing climate and weather system, agronomic yield decided by marauding deer and hungry geese, and the terroir of the field itself.
This particular Octomore Islay barley has been matured in a foundational parcel of first fill ex-American whiskey barrels and a supplementary selection of second fill European oak casks, hailing from the Rivesaltes region of France and the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. This European oak gives more subtle structure to the spirit, while the
American oak allows the spirit to take centre stage. Expect vanilla and brown sugar, counterbalanced
with fresh and round green fruit notes. The smoke is, as ever, gentle and dry, building to a long
finish with hints of creosote and sea spray.