Chris Mercer

For peat's sake

By: Chris Mercer - 27 October 2010 15:29

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Peated whiskies have long been in the 'macho' domain, to be handled only by the toughest of whisky lovers. But, Scotch whisky guru Jim Murray has given the sector fresh recognition by handing his annual prize to one that claims to be the peatiest of them all.

Murray's 2011 Whisky Bible has made Octomore “Orpheus”, distilled by Bruichladdich on Islay, the top-choice single malt Scotch around.

The new expression, Octomore 3, is a whopping 152 part per million peat. Bruichladdich bullishly describes Octomore as "three times more peaty than any other mainstream whisky".

However, it seems the distillery's macho image has a soft underbelly.

"This is no monstrous brute,” said Jim McEwan, head of distilling at Bruichladdich. "It's an iron fist in a velvet glove." I bet it still packs a punch, though.


Comments on this blog post

A rather peculiar response, malagajohn. Firstly, I'm not sure what you're trying to imply by hoping that I am just as critical of PR from big companies. Why wouldn't I be? What does size have to do with this? I am talking about spin, not shoesize.

Also, I don't understand why you're bringing the Ballantine's into this - fair enough, as you point out, it is the top whisky overall, while the Mortlach is top Single malt. Not sure why you think Pernod would have an issue with this, unless you think Bruichladdich should have pointed out that their whisky finished behind the Ballantine's in their press release? I'm confused.

Anyway, the reason you haven't read anything on the blogs about the Mortlach is probably threefold. First, the blogs have been there and done that on Mortlach 70 the first time around; Second, just like you and almost everyone else in the world, the Mortlach is a total irrelevance to their normal whisky habits; and Third, the blogs don't care about Jim Murray.

I also think that LVMH and Diasgeo, owners of Ardbeg and Lagavulin, might have something to say about your assertion that Bruichladdich have taken stewardship of the Islay category. Granted, they probably think that themselves, but the reality is that although they make the most noise, not that many people are still listening. No doubt, they are capable of making good whisky and it's great that they're a successful independent company.

More's the pity, then, that they have undermined their hard work with a preposterous surfeit of limited releases and their continuing avalanche of increasingly absurd marketing blether.


TF said at 5:52 pm, November 10, 2010

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