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Bruichladdich Octomore 9.3

Nozinan Mini and Sample Series - 85

7 689

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

25th Apr 2023

1

Bruichladdich Octomore 9.3
  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

My first taste of Octomore was back in December 2012 when I discovered the 4.1 in Calgary. I told the salesman that I had read about this in Toronto but had never seen it. He offered me a sample and it became my most expensive purchase to that date, but I have not yet opened it. I foolishly gave up the opportunity to get a number of batches at (what would now be considered) great prices the following winter. I’ve got bottles of 10.1 and 7.3 open but this is my first review. In January of 2022 @Talexander gifted me a number of open bottles he was looking to give away. One of these was a heel of Octomore 9.3.

As much as I enjoy Octomore, I haven’t actually sampled too many batches. My understanding is that the .2 and .3 versions contain some sort of variation (wood or barley type respectively). This one is made from Islay barley, Irene’s field, Octomore farm., 2012 vintage. Bottled in 2018, it was matured 5 years, and its peat rating is 133 PPM. It is natural colour and not chill-filtered. The bottle was almost empty when I received it. It has been gassed since it’s been in my possession.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner in a Brilliant Highland Whisky glass, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.


Nose: 22/25

Fruit and peat in the forefront. You can probably smell the peat across the room. Baking spices. A very rich, “warm” nose. No difference with water.

Taste: 22/25

Sweet, spicy arrival. Vanilla, cinnamon, peat. Very rich, chewy mouthfeel. Water opens it up a little bit. A bit more sour in the development. (22.5/25)

Finish: 22/25

Ashy, astringent. Puff of smoke on the exhale.

Balance: 22/25

Very rich, nose complements palate. A little bit overwhelming neat. Water definitely makes it more approachable. (22.5/25)

Score: Neat - 88/100 With Water: 89/100


Lets face it. You don’t look to Octomore for subtlety or complexity. This is an in your face peat monster. But what makes it so good is that there are no flaws, no unhelpful harsh qualities that you can often get with young whiskies.

This is a very good whisky. Octomores are consistently good. It’s unfortunate that these whiskies have priced themselves out of my collection for new acquisitions.

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6 comments

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusions. I've enjoyed every Octomore I've sampled but the pricing is well beyond my budget.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

I'd concur. I've had a full bottle if Octomore and a sample of a different one from @Timp

I have to say whilst they were both cracking whiskies they're just too expensive.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@65glenfarclas
65glenfarclas commented

LOL, Octomore is one of those where the operative word is YMMV. Some of you will probably laugh at me but here's my Octomore story. A few years back, I don't remember exactly when, or which exact expression it was (must have been one of the .1's since LCBO has never sold the others) I won a bottle at an LCBO tasting (an actual WIN, not one of the lottery "wins" where the balance in your bank account declines) and got the label signed by the Bruichladdich "god" Jim McEwan. I thought so little of it during the tasting (McEwan hype, and standing on tables tops for end of night toast, notwithstanding) that I gave the bottle to a buddy from Niagara Falls. He felt the need to return something "unique" (a half bottle of 6 month old New Holland "Brewer's Malt Whiskey") LOL.

about one year ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

@Nozinan, I am always delighted to read other people’s take on this dram. Have you written a review of your open bottle of 7.3? I would be curious to get your take.

I am a huge fan of this 9.3 and have scored it on 9 occasions with an average score of 95.8. I am an even bigger fan of 7.3 and have scored that 8 times with an average score of 96.1.

Ya, both bottles are right up my flavor-profile-alley.

So how would you have compared 7.3 to 9.3?

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Nock I haven't reviewed the 7.3. A bit delinquent of me. I will try to get to it in the next few months. I'm currently planning my Canadian review for Canada day, and it will take most of my review opportunities between now and July to get that done.

about one year ago 0

MRick commented

@Nozinan I also have an unopened bottle of the 7.3, and would also appreciate a review. Prices were a lot better on Octomore when it was released.

11 months ago 0