The King of Peat is Back with Octomore Masterclass 08.2

The latest edition of this Islay whisky gives travelers an edge.

Octomore Masterclass 08.2

If the Bruichladdich distillery on the Scottish island of Islay is best known for its annual Octomore iterations—limited-edition, peaty single-malt whiskies that are distinct in flavor thanks to the ever-changing assemblage of casks in which they are matured and finished—the latest such release from the brand promises to bolster that reputation. The Octomore Masterclass 08.2 ($200, available exclusively in duty-free shops worldwide) is a refined whisky characterized by maturation in casks that once held a variety of grape-based libations.

At its core, Masterclass 08.2 is a marriage of spirits matured for 6 years in second-fill casks that held Sauternes, Mourvèdre, and Austrian sweet wine. Those whiskies were then vatted and matured for an additional 2 years in first-fill barrels that held amarone. The spirits’ interaction with those amarone-soaked casks is largely responsible for the whisky’s attractive russet-gold hue.

Fruity aromas of stewed apples, raspberries, and black currants balance the single malt’s characteristic peat smoke. On the palate, cask-imparted sweetness makes the first impression and also lingers—a welcome counterpoint to the strength of a whisky bottled at a bold 116.8 proof. A touch of water reveals floral and citrus notes.

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