£175.00 inc UK VAT
Tin not included
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, he braces the conditions of the wet and wild west coast to combine an exploration of Islay terroir and stratospheric smoke.
For the first time, the .3 is matured for six aged years but crucially only in ex-American oak. These top-quality casks have gently coaxed this Octomore spirit into life in Warehouse 16, next to our 10.1 edition. The components of our 10.1 and 10.3 are so similar, the distinct flavour difference must be owed to the barley’s respective growing location.
Our Octomore single malts have defied received wisdom since they were first distilled in 2002. Adopted by the quietly confident, Octomore has gathered a dedicated following over the years.
Now reaching its 10th series, our new iterations explore a different realm of ‘softer smoke’. We ask you to dismiss the numbers, and forget everything you think you know. Experience the liquid for yourselves. An openness for the unexpected is encouraged in its creation, so too in your reception.
Forget about whisky. Forget about the Octomore you thought you knew. This series will destabilise even the most devout aficionado. Complex, layered, and endlessly alluring… with instinct over obsession.
This is Octomore 10.
CHARACTER – Marine freshness, Islay air and a deep rooted level of fruitiness from the distillation characterise this release.
AROMA – Earthy peat smoke, dry and a little medicinal, lemon drops, and thyme come through and then marine, sea shell notes along with some vanilla and fudge from the oak.
TASTE – Salt on the lips and more honey and lemon on the palate, then the peat sweeps in with the oak and heat from the high strength. Deeper flavours from the spirit, pear and gooseberry are more defined and richer.
FINISH – Sweet on the finish initially with pastry and chocolate but then bitter notes of rubbery smoke and spice towards the end.
COLOUR – Pale straw.
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It started with our friend ‘Demolition Dave’ helping Duncan McGillivray and his gang to demolish the old Inverleven distillery – buying up all the old equipment for scrap and loading it onto barges on the Clyde. All so Duncan had some spares to keep Bruichladdich running in the days of No Money.
As this odd flotilla was being towed round the Mull of Kintyre and up to Islay, Laddie MD Mark Reynier received an email from the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in the USA who had been monitoring distillery webcams on the grounds that our processes could have been ‘tweaked’ to produce the dreaded WMD. ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’.
Never one to allow the opportunity for a good story to pass him by, or to get his beloved distillery in the news, Reynier embellished the tale, which soon grew to involve spies and the CIA and visits by weapons inspectors. All of which made great headline-grabbing copy in the febrile media atmosphere then prevailing around WMD.
One of the stills from Inverleven was dutifully set up outside the old Victorian buildings, and became an iconic sight, with a pair of Duncan’s old wellie boots sticking out of the top to represent those weapons inspectors searching for dangerous chemicals deep in its copper bottomed interior.
A special bottling was commissioned (of course) and dubbed the ‘Whisky of Mass Distinction’ (geddit?) and much hilarity ensued. At least among the Laddies, the rest of the whisky industry having long since given up on the noisily irreverent rebels.
Things were about to get even more eccentric because, shortly afterwards, Islay fisherman John Baker was heading home to Port Ellen when he spotted something awash in the sea off the bow of his boat. Being a resourceful man, he attached a rope to said object and towed it into the pier where Gordon Currie lifted it out of the water. It proved to be a very beautiful yellow submarine.
Very conveniently, the yellow vessel had ‘Ministry of Defence’ and a telephone number stencilled on it, which was of course immediately called. What happened next was to become the stuff of legend. He was connected to the Royal Navy. “I have found your yellow submarine” said John. “We haven’t lost a yellow submarine” said the Navy. Which was an odd response as the evidence to the contrary was overwhelming.
John and Gordon then loaded the submarine onto a lorry and took it to a secret location in Port Ellen (actually fellow fisherman Harold Hastie’s back garden). The local newspaper was called, then the nationals, and the following day the red-tops were full of pictures of the two friends astride the lethal-looking machine, carrying fishing rods, and asking: “Has anybody lost a yellow submarine?”
Hilarious… unless you were the Royal Navy – who did eventually admit to it being theirs. HMS Blyth, the minesweeper that lost it, eventually came to pick it up, slipping into the pier at dawn to winch it aboard. By that time, Bruichladdich had (of course) commissioned another bottling, WMD2: The Yellow Submarine, and a box of lovely liquid was graciously offered, and accepted by the captain as a goodwill gesture.