The Octomore Islay barley is harvested, malted and distilled separately, in order to become a single field, single vintage Single Malt.
The Bruichladdich Distillery is very impressive. In 1881 the Harvey brothers — who came from a Whisky family dynasty — built a cathedral-like, state-of-the-art Victorian still house with unheard-of six-meter tall stills. After being closed for a short period between 1994-2001, the distillery was brought back to life using pretty much the same 100 year old equipment by two London Wine merchants, who believed that terroir matters. They proudly practice slow fermentation and slow distillation using traditional wooden vats and huge washes made from towering Douglas Fir. The distillery produces non-peated Bruichladdich Single Malt, Port Charlotte which is peated in the classic Islay style, the heavily peated Octomore, and The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.
The Octomore line of heavily peated Single Malts from Bruichladdich are sequentially numbered like software versions, and the latest release is the 11.x series. Bruichladdich Octomore 11.3 is aged five years and bottled at a cask strength of 61.7% ABV. The chemical compound that peat smoke adds to Whisky is "phenol," and they are rated for smokiness in parts-per-million (ppm). Anything over 100 ppm is noticeably a smoky dram. Octomore 11.3 is rated at 194 phenol ppm, so at cask strength you will feel the celtic beach at Bruichladdich in every sip.
Bruichladdich is darned hard to say correctly. The trouble is that the "-ich" in Scots Gaelic is sometimes pronounced as a hard "k" and sometimes it’s silent. And in "Bruichladdich" there’s one of each. Say it this way: "brook - laddie" and you’ll be close.