Bruichladdich Octomore 10.2

(Octo)More Than a Feeling

Whisky Review # 955

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Octomore 10.2 (96.9 PPM)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - 24.000 Bottles
Age: 8 Years (2010- July 2019)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.9% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: 4 Years in 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon - 4 years in 3rd Fill Ex-Sauternes Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 140-180 (July 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Borderline acceptable for such a young Single Malt
Buying Advice: 😊 A little too Young but one of the better Octomores I had so far


Golden/Light Amber (Natural Color)


Relatively Young and Sweet. The Sweet Wine cask influence is clearly there but it's not overdone. The expected Earthy Peat and BBQ Smoke are there of course but they don't totally overpower the other Aromas. The Nose is nicely balanced although the Alcohol is noticeable. As always nose along the edges while avoiding the middle of your glass. In doing so you will be able to avoid most of the Alcohol & identify the Fruity notes. The Nose is quite pleasant and invites you to take a sip.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Apricot-Filled Puff Pastry, Red Apple, Toasted Pineapple, Slightly Sour Berries & Cherries, Nectarine, Lemon, Wax, Earthy Peat, (Shell) Fish, Bacon and Pork on the BBQ, Brine, Soot, Leather Saddles, Charred Oak, Greek Olives, Pepper, Mint and mixed Herbs.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Burnt Caramel, Orange, Grapefruit, Dried Fruit like Figs, Plums & Dates, Hay and Grass, Tar, Ginger, Rubber and Petrol Station.


Strong and Oily. A reasonably balanced mix of Sweet, Sour and Bitter notes. Peat & Smoke are not overpowering the other Flavours. There's a slight Medicinal feel to the Palate. The Alcohol is more noticeable at this point.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Burnt Caramel, Ginger Bread, Red Apple, Toasted Pineapple, Sour Berries, Earthy Peat, (Shell) Fish and Pork on the BBQ, Hospital, Ashes, Soot, Tar, Brine, Charred Oak, Leather, Rubber, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Mint and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Dough, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Christmas Cake, Tobacco, Copper Coins, Dried Herbs, Dark Chocolate, Aniseed, Cloves, Nutmeg & Coriander.   


Medium Long with lingering Soot and Ashes. Mostly Sweet. A few Sour and slightly Bitter notes develop towards the Medium Dry to Dry, slightly Medicinal end. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Red Apple, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Earthy Peat, (Shell) Fish & Pork on the BBQ, Hospital, Ashes, Soot, Tar, Rubber, Copper Coins, Charred Oak, Dark Chocolate, Nougat, Tobacco, Leather, Licorice, Pepper, Ginger, Cardamon, Cloves, Mint and Nutmeg. The Alcohol remains noticeable.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that enhances the Smoky character on the Nose. Fruity notes are enhanced on the Palate while the Finish becomes quite Spicy and rather Sharp. A few drops certainly help to open up this Octomore. But don't overdo it!

Rating: 87.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 8 (********)

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 22

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. Please feel free to comment!

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 & Octomore. The basic core range includes the Classic Laddie and a 10-year old Port Charlotte. The annual production amounts to around 1.1 million litres. About 10% of that is Octomore. Octomore by the way means " The Big Eighth". This is a medieval division of common ground.

The Octomore 10.2 was distilled in 2010 with 100% Scottish grown Optic and Oxbridge Barley from the 2009 harvest and matured entirely on Islay.

One of the better Octomore expressions I've had so far. It's quite balanced despite its obvious Youth and the high ABV. I like the way that the Peat and Smoke are complementary to the other Aromas and Flavours. This could be perfected with a few years more in the cask. I also like the use of 3rd Fill Ex-Sauternes casks. They provide enough Sweetness to give balance to this 10.2 but do not leave this Malt cloyingly Sweet. Still, I could imagine that certain Bruichladdich fans would find this 10.2 a little too Sweet for their liking. I like this Octomore but I'm not sure I would pay this kind of money for such a young Malt.


Jan van den Ende                                                                            July 21, 2022

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

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