Bruichladdich Octomore 4.2 Comus is peated to a great 167 ppm and finished in premium, sweet Sauternes Chateau d’Yquem casks. The finish surely tames the peaty beast, but we are still talking about a very powerful dram.
A big disappointment at first, Octomore Comus managed to grow into a less of an disappointment. Reminds me of 007 Quantum of Solace – the second Bond by Daniel Craig – where I just had too big expectations because of the great Casino Royale. I had no experience with Octomores but I had heard much talk and the 167 ppm did fascinate me. Just to make sure: both, the Quantum of Solace and Octomore Comus were good, but not great.
Comus is good because the smoke is solid in the taste. That’s not the case in every peaty whisky. The main disappointment was definitely the nose. It was hard to detect any smoke in it. Too subtle in every way and lacking in character.
Nose: Strong at first wiff but then gets very subtle. Subtly peaty, mildly spicy and fruity. Light aromas.
Taste: Sweet honey and smoke in an intense package. Grapes are nicely present. Bit oily.
Finish: Smoke gets almost in your eyes. Nicely long and smoky, the smoke is truly consistent!
Balance: Powerful phenols. After all my negative ranting, Comus still is a peat monster. We had a rough start but it gets better along the way!
Colour: Golden honey
Nose: 20 | Taste: 22 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 20
Overall Score: 85
Bruichladdich Octomore 5.1 manages to top Comus just a bit. Octomore 5.1 is an interesting mix of nature and high tech. Because I associated Comus with 007 Quantum of Solace, I’ll have to call this one 007 Skyfall. Like Skyfall, the Octomore 5.1 managed to be better than it’s predecessor.
Resembling the Comus but with a bit more versatile nose and more complexity in the taste and finish. The smoke is more present than in the Comus. Though again, bit disappointed at the level of smoke, when thinking about the much anticipated peat level (169 ppm). Octomore 5.1 – a heavy peat but not a heavy smoke whisky.
Bruichladdich Octomore 5.1 did offer fireworks of peat in a way that only a good chemist can offer. I was like James Bond, getting the newest gadget from Q. High tech stuff. Octomore 5.1 also traveled me in the center of nature with it’s earthly notes. Weirdly, I got into a forest. Almost like being at Bond’s childhood manor house in Skyfall.
Nose: Strong with peat but feels delicate when thinking about the strong ABV and peat level. Soft wood smoke: like nosing a bonfire that’s been put out just seconds ago. Very earthly, notes of some softwood tree.
Taste: Heavy peat, it couldn’t be any peatier. Tangerine sweetness with hints of smoke. The smoke comes very delicately but it’s impact is longer than in Comus. Wee spicy and oily.
Finish: Lasting with mostly peat. Hints of sweet citrus fruits. Some smoke but again, in a surprisingly delicate way.
Balance: Nicely in balance all the way. The high peat level is attached in every step of the way. Octomore 5.1 gives you nice little details behind the peat.
Nose: 21 | Taste: 22 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 21
Overall Score: 87