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20 Feb 2020 By

Octomore 10, Like Your Favourite Netflix Series, Has Dropped.

And with the Octomore series, we don’t have to wait more than a year for each new iteration to quench our thrist. We’ve written a bit about the Octo 8 and Octo 7 (yeah we missed #9, don’t ask), so how does 10 hold up? Is this all Hebridean hype or are we in for another peaty prizewinner? 

Peat is introduced into whisky because it adds layers of flavours and changes the complexity of the spirit. (Also peat, bog and moss are evocative words to use.) For Bruichladdich’s Head Distiller Adam Hannett, the Octomore series allows him peaty playtime; he gets to experiment away from the core range. What has he concocted for us this time?

octomore 10 bruichladdich

[ A note about tasting notes: Everyone tastes things differently, obvs. One man’s chilli is another man’s volcanic lava tongue decimator. There’s also no right and wrong, what flavours you taste is what you taste; if you’re not getting those unicorn flavours someone else is getting, you’re still right. So one man’s peat is another person’s smoke. The phenol parts per million (PPM) of peats is a scientific measurement; it can be measured, but it cannot be adjudicated. That said, peat is not so much an acquired taste as a requisite for some, and a repellant for others. Peat whiskies, like Adam Sandler movies, are very divisive. If you’re not a fan of how it tastes, you certainly won’t even like its nose: pungent, medicinal and boorish. ]

What follows are just some notes, not so much tasting notes as what I took from the drams. No tasting is ever definitive, I can only leave you with some stories and memories.

Edition 10.1  >   PPM 107  >  Aged 5 Years  >  100% American Oak

This is approachable, the right start to a series tasting. The nose is sweet, coy, fruity, with a straight-up sensibility. The American oak imparts vanilla flavours, maybe some toffee, and there’s a buttery feel. 

Fun Fact: Not all of Octomore’s peat is from Islay.

 octomore 10 bruichladdich

Edition 10.2  >  PPM 96.6  >  Aged 8 Years  >  American & European Oak

The .2 in the series is always meant for travel retail. They can’t reveal the source of the barrels, but the European influence is obvious. It’s one level up from the previous, with spicier notes, the taste of dark fruits and a long, savoury finish.

Fun Fact: The Octomore 8.2 remains our favourite in the entire series.


Edition 10.3  >  PPM 114  >  Aged 6 Years  >  100% Octomore Farm Grown Barley  >  American & European oak

This was something different, and a grower. Coming off the upperhook of 10.2, this one has a salinity you can attribute to the barley and barrels of the islnd. Bruichladdich’s ethos of micro-provenance means they try to aim to use as much Islay ingredients as possible. The barrels stay on the island to be battered by its strong winds, hence the marine zip in the spirit. There is also more honey and lemon than the other bottles. Let it sit, and it’ll lure you in like a siren. Leaning towards this now.

Fun Fact: The barley is 100% sourced from the Octomore farm in Islay. The farmer is called James Brown and he’s the tallest farmer in Islay. 


Edition 10.4  >  PPM 88  >  Aged 3 Years  >  Full Term Virgin Oak

Stop being obsessed with age the way Leonard DiCaprio is. The three-year-old would pass a blind tasting if you weren’t told. This is the youngest Octomore ever created, produced from full term virgin oaks, which allowed the spirit the extract all its tannis. It’s not a lightweight, the 63.5% ABV cask strength belies a whisky that is rich, meaty, like a bbq roast (I’m thinking bacon for some reason), and flourishes beautifully when given a few drops of water.

Fun Fact: Octomores are only produced in batches of 12-48 thousand bottles. After that, nada. It has a cult following like you wouldn’t believe.

Final verdict? 10.3

Like this? Read about our road trip to Bruichladdich.




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