8O8 whisky hasn’t got your traditional background story, but an intriguing one none-the-less.

Who would have thought i’d be mentioning DJ TommyD in a feature on whisky? But then again, sometimes the best spirits just need passion of creation to be behind the reasoning of their existence. DJ’s are creative people, needing to be on the pulse of their audience to create the sounds they wish to hear. Whisky distillers are the same, having to think of the trends and tastes of their ideas years in advance. So it makes sense then that DJ TommyD has come together with his business partner Paul Pullinger and whisky legend Jonathan Driver.

After designing their liquid, they took it to the North British Distillery in Edinbrugh, and one of the oldest grain producers around. Using this inspiration, they created a finished liquid using a blend of different grains including maize and barley.

The bottle and label itself has been designed by Mark Farrow of the Pet Shop Boys fame. The name though comes from the Roland Tr-8O8, an electronic drum machine, said to give ‘soul’ to the beat, now 8O8 gives ‘soul’ to the whisky experience.

So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

8O8 – 40%

Very light and thin on the nose, with hints of lemon juice and subtle grain. Thick texture of oat and damp charred oak, with a butter profile following into a very light, yet dry cracked black pepper finish.

Good to sip over ice, but take a look at some of these recipes for some mixer inspiration –

808 - Saint 08
Saint 08

Saint 08

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

40 ml 8O8 whisky
25 ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
20 ml Rosemary syrup
25 ml fresh lemon juice
1 Lemon
2 Sprigs of Rosemary

Method – 

First fill your wine glass with crushed ice to chill it as much as possible. Add 40ml of 8O8, 25ml St Germain, 20ml Rosemary syrup and 25ml of fresh Lemon juice to your shaker. Fill your shaker with cubed ice and shake hard. Empty your wine glass and refill with fresh crushed ice and strain the cocktail over the ice. Give the drink a gentle stir and cap with more crushed ice. Garnish the drink with 2 Rosemary sprigs and a Lemon wheel.

Or perhaps,

808 - Coco8 Hiball
Coco8 Hiball

Coco8 Hiball, by Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr Lyan, International bartender of the year 2015)

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

35 ml 8O8
35 ml Coconut water
Ginger ale
Mint sprig

Method –

Build in a hiball over cubed ice, stir briefly, then add spanked mint sprig. Serve on a beach…

A whisky for the Summer, especially with its versatility. Good on its own, but a great mixing grain whisky! One for the cabinet for sure.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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