Bruichladdich Octomore 11.1

“The Peat Is On”

Whisky Review # 995

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Octomore 11.1 (139.6 PPM) - Distilled: 2014
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky -  Bottled: 2020 - Bottles: 30.000
Age: 5 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 59.4% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: First Fill Ex-Bourbon casks (Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Heaven Hill)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 140-180 (July 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Too expensive for such a Young Malt.
Buying Advice: 😐 Look for cheaper alternatives like Kilchoman.


Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Color)


Young and a little Thin despite the High ABV. The Peat & Smoke are there of course but certainly not in an overwhelming way. Be sure to give the 11.1 some time in the glass though in order to develop the other Aromas. The Alcohol is noticeable but not in a bad way. The Nose is a slightly modest mix of Sweet, Salty, Yeasty and Coastal notes.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Yeast, Dough, Wet Clay and Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Smoked Fish on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon & Salt, Apple, Pear, Banana, Red Berries, Cinnamon and Ginger.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Brown Sugar, Wax, Soot, Burnt Grass & Heather, Dried Herbs, German Raw Smoked Ham (Schwarzwald), Orange, Grapefruit, Papaya Cream, Apricot-Flavored Yogurt, Burnt Rubber, Cooked Vegetables and Cow Shed.


Young, Bitter-Sweet, a little Hot and Nervous and quite Dry. The Smoke & Peat are much more pronounced now. The Alcohol is also more present. It's not bad but it lacks Balance and Maturation.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Burnt Caramel, Campfire Smoke, Wet Peat, Ashes, Smoked Fish & Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon, Curry & Salt, Red Apple, Banana, Pear, Charred Oak, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Soot, Yeast, Wet Rock, Herbal Liqueur, Mixed Roasted Nuts, Dried Fruit, Grapefruit, Peach, Burnt Grass, Cinnamon and Tobacco. 


In general Middle Long although the Ashes will remain in your throat for a good deal more. It's Sweet at first with developing Bitterness towards the Dry end. It's a rather Young Malt and it shows here. Slightly Hot and Peppery as well. The Alcohol really makes itself known and Smoke and Peat are in control now. I also find Sweet Malt, Burnt Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Ashes, Soot, Smoked Fish and Meat on the BBQ sprinkled with Salt, Curry and Lemon, Herbal Liqueur, Red Apple, Grapefruit, Mixed Roasted Nuts and Dried Fruit, Dark Chocolate, Charred Oak, Tobacco, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg and Ginger. Some Burnt Rubber Tires after a while.  

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps control the Alcohol of course. The Citrus Fruit develops and notes of Sugar Cane Juice and Rum appear. You should try this both ways.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2) 

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good but quite Young.


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 1.3 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 11.1 was made with 100% Scottish Barley (Concerto and Propeno) of the 2013 Harvest.

The 11.1 is not really bad but is certainly not the best Octomore I have tasted so far. Out of my head the 7.2 and 8.2 were among my favorites. Except on the Nose, the 11.1 can't hide its Youth and works a little raw and un-balanced in places. It's not a strong Peat-Monster despite the 139.6 PPM. Octomore is quite expensive and the 11.1 is no exception. It's simply too expensive for what it offers and I would advise you to look elsewhere if you like young Islay Malt. Ardbeg, Kilchoman and Peat's Beast come to mind.


Jan van den Ende                                                                         July 10, 2023

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

No comments: