Nose: Heavy oak char and muddy phenolic notes are complemented by sweet honeyed malt and toffee fudge. Sparkles of black pepper cuts through floral vanilla and sweet popcorn.

Palate: The peat is thick but not unrelenting, there’s sweet mellow oak, syrupy pear and prickles of clove. A little stewed apple emerges after a while, among beaten leather, coconut and burnt heather.

Finish: There’s stewed apple and coffee grounds as the charred oak and thick ash dissipates.

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From Bruichladdich’s outstanding and striking Octomore range comes the Masterclass 08.4 8 Year Old. Originally distilled in 2009, the 08.4 edition is made from 100% Scottish malted barley from the 2008 harvest to 170ppm.

This spirit was then matured for eight years, with 80% of it spending time initially in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks and then European virgin oak that had previously held Octomore 07.4, while the remaining 20% was held full-term in virgin oak.

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