Bruichladdich whisky distillery launches "world's peatiest single malt"

A distillery on Islay has launched a new range of heavily peated whiskies which includes what is thought to be the world’s peatiest single malt whisky. 

Published 10th Aug 2017
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The four new whiskies, which make up the Ocotmore Eights Masterclass range, were announced by Bruichladdich whisky this week.

And the 8.03 edition, which is made from barley coming in at a whopping 309ppm (phenol parts per million), is now thought to be the most heavily peated single malt in the world.

The record, which had been set by a previous edition, was 256ppm.

Bruichladdich said of how the massively peated series orginated: "These legendary whiskies originally emerged as the result of an idea, an idea that local legend suggests was fuelled by an evening spent by those distillers in consuming more of Scotland’s national drink than is perhaps advisable.

"Its premise was to see what would happen if their maltsters tried to coax the absolute maximum count of ‘phenol parts per million’ into the barley used.

"As the years passed, the expressions multiplied into quite a collection, each one pushing at a different boundary."

The newest range was created by current head distiller Adam Hannett, his first release after taking over the reigns from master distiller Jim McEwan.

Adam said: "At Bruichladdich, we believe in following the distilling muse wherever it might take us. Above all we believe the world needs an antidote to homogeneity and blandness."

The Octomore - which means "Big Eighth" - Masterclass range is comprised of four innovative expressions.

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The first, 8.01 is bottled as an eight-year-old, comes in at 167ppm and is matured in First-fill American oak barrels.

The second, the 8.02, is also bottled at both eight-years-old and 167 ppm but is matured in a combination of refill ex-Sauternes, French Mourvèdre and Austrian sweet wine casks before being married and finished in first-fill Italian ex-Amarone casks.


Octomore 8.02

The peatiest malt, the 8.03, is bottled at 61.2% abv as a five-year-old and is matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon American oak, and ex-Pauillac, Ventoux, Rhône and Burgundy European oak casks, with only 18,000 bottles being made.


Octomore 8.3

The final edition, the 8.04, is dubbed the "Game Changer", and is another one bottled as an eight-year-old. It is matured in virgin oak casks, first-fill American oak casks finished in second-fill virgin oak from France.

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Octomore 8.04


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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