Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1 Review

“(Octo) More Than Words”

Whisky Review # 865

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1 (208 PPM) - Scottish Barley Series
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Limited Edition
Age: 5 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 59.5%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon American Oak casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 120-160 (March 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎Too expensive for such a Young Single Malt.
Buying Advice: 👍Very nice heavily peated Young Islay. 


Golden Straw (Natural Colour)


Please give this Octomore some time in the glass before Nosing. It's probably the peatiest Single Malt I've tried so far. The 1st impression is peated Grist, something some of you have certainly smelled during a visit to Islay distilleries. The Alcohol is quite strong, no wonder at close to 60%! The Nose presents lots of Burnt, Charred and Medicinal notes that seem to have been infused into the Malt. If you're a beginning Whisky drinker, this Nose might turn you off a little. But after a while in the glass it actually becomes quite balanced and almost soft, albeit a bit one-sided.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Toast, Salted Caramel, Burnt Grass, Dirty Peat, Factory Smoke, Sea Water, Iodine, Bandaid, Rubber, Tarmac, Ashes, TCP Pipes, Green Apple, BBQ Bacon in Honey/Treacle sauce, Charred Oak, Leather, Wet Stones/Sand, Pepper and Aniseed.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Mix of Straw and Cow Manure, Salted Almonds, Soot, Burnt Herbs, Lemon, Pear, Driftwood, Metal and Mint.


The Thick and Oily Palate basically follows the Nose. Peat Lovers will certainly appreciate this 07.1 Octomore. Within its (rather limited) peated purpose it does certainly shine although it's a bit on the Sweet side. With a longer maturation this could become a great Islay Malt but that's day dreaming.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Burnt Toast, Salted Caramel, Burnt Grass, Dirty Peat, Factory Smoke, Iodine, Band Aid, Ashes, Soot, TCP Pipes, Rubber, Tarmac, Mix of Cow Manure and Straw, Bacon on the BBQ, Burnt Herbs, Green Apple, Grapefruit, Roasted Nuts, Leather, Wet Stones and Sand, Pepper, Licorice and Menthol.
Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Lemon, Bitter Orange Juice, Mustard, Charred Oak, Roasted Coffee, Olive Oil, Pear and Ginger.


Bitter-Sweet, Medium-Dry and Exceptionally Long. The Alcohol is quite Strong and the Whisky is Young but it's still quite Tasty if you're into peated Malt. The Palate and Finish are quite in line with the Nose. Therefore I find Toasted Malt, Burnt Toast, Burnt Grass, Mix of Straw and Cow Manure, Factory Smoke, Dirty Peat, Iodine, Band Aid, Tar, Rubber, Soot, TCP Pipes, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Burnt Newspaper, Burnt Herbs, Bacon on the BBQ, Charred Oak, Salted Nuts, Roasted Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Green Apple, Lemon, Pepper, Ginger, Licorice, Mustard and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not really benefit this Octomore although you can carefully add a few drops at a time. Don't overdo it though as it can easily drown.

Rating: 86

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its history it was mothballed various times, the last time in 1998. In 2012 the Islay distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau (France). Since, Bruichladdich is showing a healthy growth again. The distillery produces 3 types of Single Malt, i.e. the unpeated Bruichladdich, the heavily peated Port Charlotte and the very heavily peated Octomore. The basic core range for Bruichladdich includes The Classic Laddie, Islay Barley 2010 & Black Art 5. The annual production amounts to around one million litres.

The Octomore 07.1 was released in 2015. At 208 PPM you would expect an insupportable Peat Monster but that's not the case. It's certainly a Peat-Bomb but it somehow manages to maintain a certain balance. If you don't like peated Whisky you should stay away from Octomore in general but for those who love their peat the 07.1 will be a pleasant surprise. My only issues are its Youth and its Price. This could be a really great Whisky if matured for say 15 years. As it is, it's a very nice and balanced Young peated Islay Malt. I wouldn't pay 150 US Dollars for a bottle though. It's just too expensive for a Young Whisky. But I did enjoy the Tasting session!


Jan van den Ende                                                                    March 23, 2020

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014


Richard said...

Thanks, for the forthright & direct review. You mention that this edition might be aged 15 years. At that age, this whisky would indeed be substantially to enormously improved. However, from a business perspective & fairly viewed, Bruichladdich most probably needs the money now to remain in business. I suspect that they are simply earning a living & most probably not getting rich. Despite me not being a big peat-person (give me Balvenie, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, JW Black & Green, Clynlish, Glenmorangie, etc.), I really want Bruich, a much above average distiller, to remain in business for a long time. Danke & Slainte, Richard

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Richard, thanks for commenting! Distilleries certainly need the cash! But I was just daydreaming and imagined how nearly perfect this peated whisky might be at say 15 years. I really love well matured peated islay Malt. That's my favourite type of whisky. Let's drink to Bruichladdich tonight! Cheers, Jan.

Richard said...

Jan, "Let's drink to Bruichladdich tonight!" This is a most excellent idea. I think that tonight, I might taste some quite nice Bruichladdich Laddie 10y. Life is good, really, really good. Danke & Slainte, Richard

Jan van den Ende said...

Cheers, Richard. Since I'm out of Bruichladdich I had a Glen Scotia 15 Years!

Chad M. said...

Aging for 15+ years would ensure that most of the peaty goodness and balance would be gone. Peat's influence diminishes over time in wood. The price is high because of the skilled cask management and extraordinary expenses incurred in making this whisky, along with its relative rarity.

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Chad, thanks for commenting. That's a matter of personal taste of course. If you like young peated whisky you can't go wrong with this Octomore. And you are right of course that the Peat diminishes in intensity over time. But personally I like that a lot. Some of my favorite all time Single Malts are well-matured well-balanced peated whiskies such as the old Laphroaig 18 Years and the Lagavulin 16. As far as the price is concerned I understand that it's driven by demand but personally I think it's just too expensive for its age. Cheers!🥃 Jan.