Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley – Review

Time for another Peat monster, and the latest offering from Bruichladdich in their line of Super-Uber Peated malts: The Octomore. Die hard peat lovers, will swear by the Octomore. I’ve been Following the Octomores from the early days of 1.1 and It is no secret I am quite the fan of the distillery (especially their peated lines) and the Octomore line in particular.

Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley is the first release of the uber-experimental cult classic to be distilled using 100% Islay-grown barley. The crop was sown in 2008 by  James Brown in the field known as Lorgba on his Octomore Farm. This lies close to the western shore of Loch Indaal on the Rhinns of Islay, and within sight of the village of Port Charlotte.

This is a single malt whisky distilled from the most heavily peated barley in the world. Always experimental and pushing the boundaries of the possible, a stratospheric 258ppm was coaxed into the grain by our skilful maltsters at Bairds in Inverness, a remarkable 89ppm more than the previous high of 169ppm they achieved prior to the distillation of the Octomore 5.1.

The spirit then matured for five years in ex-Bourbon casks, a natural whisky, un-chill filtered and colouring free, a tiny amount of water from the spring at Octomore Farm being used to reduce it to an abv of 64%.octomore-6-3-islay-barley

Let’s taste this devil, shall we?

Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3 64% abv, Islay Barley,£149

Nose: Quite sweet on entry with the laddie trademark dairy / baby vomit notes, smoky and a bit briny too with not quite ripe orange , cinnamon gum and white pepper. Very rich. Creamy even.

Palate:  whoosh. Big bold and bitter sweet. With mocha , cinnamon. Oily feel to it and very thick. Peppery. Some brine and dirty sooty peat. Some notes of smoky creme brûlée

Finish: extra long. Spot. Ash. Burnt sugar and chilly. Double espresso. Dry oak.


Wow. This is a nice ultra Peated beast, and perhaps the best Octomore YET. It’s fierce, but gentle and creamy but mega peaty. Can’t explain it. This is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. I love this stuff. Octomore fans, go grab a bottle of this. I know it’s very expensive. It’s 5 years old. It’s not a bargain, But… It’s exceptional.

I compared it to the 6.2 just for fun (notes soon), and It just blew past the 6.2 It’s so much better IMHO.

Score: 91/100

Official sample Provided by Bruichladdich.

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3 thoughts on “Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley – Review

  1. The Octomore 6.3 is the best Octo so far, the 7.4 comes real close. I’ve tasted the 8.1 and wasn’t impress. Waiting for the 8.3 to become available to taste, but to me the 6.3 will remain unbeaten. I love you’re remark “This is an enigma wrapped in a mystery”, so true.

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