Octomore 10.x Part II : 10.3 & 10.4

Time to conclude the 10.x Octomore release with the two remaining expressions. Let’s start with the 10.3

Octomore 10.3 / 114 PPM / 6 yo / 61.3% / £175 (MOM)

Distilled in 2013 from the 2012 harvest, the Octomore 10.3 has been brought home by farmer James Brown. Taking on the challenge of growing Islay Barley.

Facts :

  • Malted to 114ppm
  • Distilled in 2013 from the 2012 harvest
  • 100% Octomore farm, Islay grown concerto barley – single field, single farm, single vintage
  • Matured entirely on Islay for six years
  • Full term maturation in first fill american whiskey casks from Jim Beam, heaven hill, buffalo trace and Jack Daniels
  • Bottled unchill-filtered and coloring free at bruichladdich distillery, 61.3% alc. / vol
  • Limited to 24,000 bottles

Nose: quite medicinal  (wet bandages) and sweet as well with vanilla , ‘Werther’s original’ candy  and a touch of citrus zest, some coastal notes as well with sea-spray ,and some seaweed , fishing nets, on an Islay beach.

Palate: Salt and pepper, with initial saltiness giving way to chill flakes / freshly ground peppercorns, oak chips, and some youthful fruity notes (peat, apple) as well as a honeyed sweetness and peat. the smoke lingers, quite a sweet sort of smoke.

Finish : quite a lot of smoke, dry oak, citrus peel and espresso.

Conclusion : Nice and Medicianl with lovely ex-bourbon influence, the essense of Octomore , no tricks.

Score: 87/100

The last of the Octomores from the 10.x is also the youngest Octomore yet.

Distilled from Scottish barley in 2016, this three year old Octomore 10.4 is the youngest ever released, yet the most impressive. Standing alone in any heavyweight line-up, the depth, balance and composure of this Virgin Oak release is astounding.

Twenty-eight casks cut from Limousin oak have been subjected to a high toast before making their way to Warehouse 12 for filling. Their high tannic impact is subsided by a high toast level which gives way to a dry fruit character that is impeccably well-rounded.

Facts:

  • Malted to 88ppm
  • Distilled in 2016 from the 2015 harvest from 100% scottish grown concerto barley
  • 100% scottish barley
  • Matured entirely on islay for three years
  • Full term french virgin oak maturation
  • Bottled unchill-filtered and colouring free at bruichladdich distillery, 63.5% alc. / vol
  • Limited to 12,000 bottles

Octomore 10.4 / 88 PPM / 3 yo / 63.5% / TBD

Nose:  Wow. very rich, and concentrated, with a lot of lovely sweetness,  smoky tea leaves, tobacco, cigar boxes, even Lapsang, There’s some leather there as well, and a spicy tang, in addition to sweet pastries, sweet char, vanilla pods and a fruity note as well (black currant?), the virgin oak did a lovey job of eliminating almost all youthful notes and this feels more than 3 year old . with time in the glass the charred smoky profile really shines.

Palate:  Sweet and spicy, with a very oily and viscous mouthfeel to it, lots of Demerara sugar, more of the tobacco leaves and smoky black teas,  candy and all wrapped in thick sweet peat smoke, even some sweet smoky Glühwein, and cough syrup.

Finish :  Lots of oak, smoke, soot, and burnt caramel, soot and peat reek. lovely.

Conclusion : This may be the youngest, this may not be the most refined Octomore, but it’s damn good, at such a tender age. The Virgin casks did their magic, and it’s an absolute stunner. Loving the sweet sooty charry character. I am in love. BUY. (when it goes online).

Score: 90/100

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