Octomore 10.4

Ochdamh-mòr

Octomore Edition 10.4 / 88 PPM / 3 Aged years

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Octomore has always challenged convention. Many preconceived ideas about whisky have been overturned but perhaps the most provocative stigma still to be shattered is that which surrounds age.

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.

THE IMPOSSIBLE
EQUATION

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.

OCTOMORE 10.4

  • Malted to 88PPM
  • Distilled in 2016 from the 2015 harvest of 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

Ochdamh-mòr

Octomore 10.4

Tasting Notes


CHARACTER – A dram of depth and worth taking some time to get to know. Greater than the sum of its parts with each of those parts having an individual story of their own.

AROMA – There is a richness, chocolate, tobacco, bonfire smoke, leather. Vanilla custard, blueberry, dry straw and pear drops.

TASTE – Warming, spicy – mulled wine. Leather and tobacco, malt sugar, icing sugar. All wrapped in earthy peaty smoke. Dry on the palate.

FINISH – Oak driven, coconut, tobacco, vanilla, then smoke. The time in the cask has calmed the smoke, both through the phenols lowering naturally over time and the influence of the oak becoming greater.

COLOUR – Tawny.

Octomore 10.4 Reviews

A score in the mid-80s after three years of ageing is pretty damn good. I doubt longer maturation in the same wood type would enhance this whisky though. Even at such a young age it probably is at its peak.

I think the three year age statement is going to put a lot of people off, particularly combined with the likely £150+ price tag but they’d be missing out big time – this is the standout dram for me. To sip it is very redolent of drinking a dry red while smoking a cigar. It’s totally bonkers and I absolutely love it.

From The Whisky Lounge taste notes, “Cracked black pepper and jerk seasoning with lime oil phenols”. On our Octomore 10s series “One thing is ALWAYS certain, whatever the team bring out… It won’t be boring! As ever, GO AND TRY SOME! There’s nothing better than a differing opinion in the whisky world!”

This is one of the most sublime Whiskies I’ve rated in years. It’s Octomore 10 3YO. 3 years old! It is a classroom of unruly school kids throwing books & banging desks while teacher is out, with a Buddhist monk in a serenity trance next door. Utter brilliance.

That virgin Limousin oak morphs the whisky into a more tannic, barbeque-y, and savoury, liquid. The quality of all four whiskies, particularly given their youth (I’m looking at you .4), is fantastic, and despite a lower ppm they are still a peat freak’s wet dream. Thoroughly visceral stuff.

The 10.4 was hands down my favorite of the lot. I’m a huge fan of young Islay whiskies and this one just delivers on all accounts. It’s punchy, but oddly decadent and mature at the same time.

Yes, as expected, quite a blast of woody vanilla with that peat actually now rivalling the wood. Coffee and burnt toast, perhaps a shade bitter. Charcoal. A heady damson chutney, full of brown sugar. HP sauce. Burnt toffee. Caramel. Kind of fun, perhaps too much to make a point, but this was never something that was about balance, complexity and so on. Balcones Brimstone fans will find much to enjoy.

I’m not sure what to say. Personally speaking this is just not my cup of whisky. Despite some initial promise on the nose I feel it really fell apart technically. And the neat palate was borderline painful. Now, having said all that, I suspect there are some extremist whisky pals out there who will want to marry this bottling. Not really sure what to do about a score, this kind of profile exists quite far outside normal whisky spectrums.

Bruichladdich Distillery
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