Showing posts with label Bruichladdich Octomore 07.3. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruichladdich Octomore 07.3. Show all posts

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.3 Review

”Octomore Than Words”

Whisky Review # 886

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Octomore 07.3 (169 PPM) - Islay Barley
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Limited Edition
Age: 5 Years (2010-2015)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 63% (Around Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon American Oak Casks + Spanish Red Wine Cask Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 200-240 (August 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍It's too expensive given its age but it's delicious!
Buying Advice: 😍 Great Octomore. The best I had so far!


Pale Straw (Natural Colour)


You would expect an explosion of Peat & Smoke given the 169 PPM but that's not the case. It's prominent of course but in a sort of laid-back style. Quite pleasant. Of course you can feel the high ABV but again it's not overwhelming. The influence of  the Red Wine Finish is limited but it does bring a little Berry Sweetness to the peat bog. It's all well-balanced and the smell of freshly polished old Leather reminds me of those private gentleman's clubs in London. In short, I like it!

Main Aromas:

Malted, Toasted Sweet Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Cold Smoke, Soot, Brine, Honey Glazed Bacon, Green Apple, Banana, Polished Leather, Dried Herbs, Wood Shavings, Blueberry Muffins, Mint & Tobacco.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Butterscotch, Demerara Sugar, Yeast, Ashes, Iodine, Straw/Cow Manure Mix, Fish and Shellfish on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon, Nuts, Pear, Nectarine, Mushrooms, Violets, Vegetable Oil, Nougat and Pepper.


The ABV is quite high of course and that might turn off a few of you. But if you like strong peated Whisky this Octomore is a real treat. What a pity that Bruichladdich doesn't fully mature this range or at least some like the 07.3. Give this some 15 years in good casks, apply the same Finish and I'm pretty sure the result would be stunning and would go straight to # 1 in my Top Whisky list. But it's only a 5 Years old Malt and you can tell at this point. It's still pretty good though!

Main Flavours:

Sweet Toasted and Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Cold Smoke, Soot, Ashes, Brine, Green Apple, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Shellfish and Fish on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon, Herbal Tea, Blueberry Muffins, Toasted Pineapple, Leather, Tobacco, Mint, Licorice, Ginger and Nutmeg.
Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Demerara Sugar, Nougat, Iodine, Tar, Straw mixed with Cow Manure, Wood Shavings, Damp Dunnage Warehouse, Pear, Honey-Glazed Pork, Diesel Oil, Pepper, and Cinnamon.


Long, Sweet, Powerful and Creamy. The Alcohol is quite strong at this point. Some Sour, Bitter and Mineral notes as well towards the Medium-Dry end. Its Youth is more obvious here as well. What a pity! Imagine a fully matured Octomore 07.3! That would be great! Back to reality: I find Sweet Malted & Toasted Barley, Toast, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Fudge, Demerara Sugar, Coastal Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Soot, Iodine, Tar, Brine, Toasted Pineapple, Green Apple, Nectarine, Fish & Shellfish on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon, Honey-Glazed Bacon, Straw mixed with Cow Manure, Vegetable Oil, Leather, Wet Rocks/Sand, Herbal Tea, Wood Shavings, Strong Espresso, Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Drinking Advice:

I added Water and although that helps calm down the Alcohol it also awakens some less wanted notes like PVC Pipes, Rubber and Green Garden refusal on the Nose. Palate and Finish become easier to drink but it does take away a lot of the strong Magic. If you can handle it, sip it straight!

Rating: 90

Nose: 23 - Taste: 22.5 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Excellent


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 Classic Laddie, Islay Barley 2010 and Black Art 5. The annual production amounts to around one million litres.

The Octomore 07.3 was distilled with Barley from James Brown's Octomore farm (Lorgba field) on the island of Islay. It was harvested in 2009, distilled in 2010 and bottled in November/December 2015. The spirit matured on Islay in American Oak Ex-Bourbon casks that were married with Tempranillo Red Wine casks from the Northern Spanish Wine Region of Ribera del Duero (Castile & Leon).

Viva Bruichladdich! This Octomore 07.3 really did it for me despite its youth. I can only imagine how good this would be after 15 years or so. I really hope the distillery will at least fully mature one Octomore some day! Still, the 07.3 is a very good Malt if you like strong peated Islay. This is certainly not for everybody but during the Tasting session this 07.3 took me back to the Rhinns of Islay on a fresh and windy day in 2014. And I loved every minute of it. Back then and now!


Jan van den Ende                                                                        August 10, 2020

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014