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Octomore Orpheus 5 Year Old Edition 2.2

Average score from 9 reviews and 16 ratings 93

Octomore Orpheus 5 Year Old Edition 2.2

Product details

  • Brand: Bruichladdich
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 61.0%
  • Age: 5 year old
  • Bottled: 2009
  • Bottles: 15000

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Octomore Orpheus 5 Year Old Edition 2.2

sample from a friend

I remember really adoring this a year or two ago when I sampled it from a friend's bottle. Let's see how it we're viewing it now.

Nose: Very curious and far darker than my recollections. Smoky and heavy pig in soy sauce over a bonfire, coated in very heavily salted sea-weed. There are also a few distinct rubber notes. Perhaps even some salted wine, but I'm missing the Petrus. Let's give it another 30 minutes to see how it fares. Very faintly some red berries, extremely soft, but it's there. (with water) Ah, far more flowery agave, roses, red-fruit red-flower petals. Gallons of tequila, aged of course and buttery, and sweet malt as the base. It's still got the same heavy peat, but in its own sweet style.

Palate: A touch hot, and a clean malt, and then the pug roast. Tyre and sea-weed emerge, slowly smouldering, and then amid it all is a layer of winey raspberries and strawberry fruit jam. I get, too, that oily funk from agave. Goes with the roast. I wonder how water is going to play with this. (with water) The wine comes out a bit thin at the forefront, and some of the tannins are present, and turn somewhat to coffee. Then it yields to many of the same baseline notes.

Finish: I like this a lot, but it's not nearly as magical as I held in memory from that splendid session so long ago. Loads of peat, massive, yet gentle and sweet. Very faintly of Petrus, still in the red fruit, roses, and petals, lasts for ages. I hope that you like Lapsang Souchong as much as I do. I'm split on this, but it's still excellent. My initial rating of this a few years ago was in A territory, but this time it's closer to a B+. I'm just going to give it this score to split the difference.

Hi mate,

Wondering if your friend held onto the bottle and case from his purchase? I'm trying to get my hands on an Orpheus Case.



Fiery thick slow smokey arrival develops a long sweet malty middle followed by an oily full bodied mouth coating sweet fruity Soddy finish.

Hi, just wanted to know if you bought a full bottle? And if you happened to hold onto the bottle and case?


One of my good friends and I had recently went out to a couple of different whisky bars/restaurants here in Perth. It'd been an odd coincidence considering that he'd been discussing a couple of new restaurants (he's a foodie) and I'd been talking about a couple of new whisky bars that I'd recently heard about on Facebook.

We were flabbergasted when we realized that we were both talking about the same places and considering that he seems to know just about EVERYONE in the restaurant industry over here, he made me promise to hold off on going to any of the new whisky bars until we could hit them together.

Not a problem! Especially because we'd made plans to meet up in a couple of weeks time.

The first bar we went to was Lafayette, which had a reasonable selection of whiskies for reasonable prices. This is where I decided to grab a sample of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. I offered my friend a taste, but he informed me that whisky wasn't his thing, him being a wine guy and all. The next bar/restaurant we were going to be going to was his favorite and one where he was friends with EVERYONE.

The Print Hall.

We walk in and he's immediately greeted by staff there that he knows.

Holy crap, it's like being with a celebrity.

We walk over to the bar to take a look at the whisky selection and there I'm both thrilled and disappointed.

Whisky selection isn't the greatest, well at least in number of bottles that are open. But what it lacks in variety, it more then makes up in quality!

I immediately see several whiskies that catch my eye, including a Glen Grant bottled by Gordon and MacPhail from 1949, 58 years old and Bruichladdich's Octomore 2.2 Orpheus.

Holy cow!

The bartender gives me a wee nip of the 58 yr old Glen Grant for free before asking what'll it be?

The Glen Grant is beautiful, but at $65 a shot it's more pricey then I can afford this fine evening, but I shall return for it.

I decide to go with the Bruichladdich Octomore 2.2 Orpheus. I've heard about this whisky for years and have always wanted to try it.

The bartender then gives me and my friend a wee nip of this one for free to try, even though I've already decided to grab a dram. When he pours my dram he decides to give me an extra half shot for free...

Yep this is how celebrities must feel, all the time.

My friend exclaims in pleasure and surprise on his sample.

It wasn't anything like he'd expected a whisky to taste!

I then sit down and decide to focus my attention on this bad boy.

Lovely nose, actually a powerful nose as my friend comments that he can smell the whisky from across the table.

Peat, beautiful peat, sweet peat with hints of smoke, vanilla, sea salt brine, hints of leather and bags of fruit, raspberries, grapes, cherries.

Delicious beautiful nose!

This is the kind of the nose that sucks you in and just begs you to take a taste of it, which being the kind of person I am, I don't want to hurt the whisky's feelings so I will oblige it!

This whisky sits at 61% and is big, but not overpowering, the first thing that hits the palate is the peat, again that beautiful sweet peat, smoke, those sexy fruits, raspberries, grapes, cherries, awesome cerealy barley, oak, vanilla, and LOTS of spices.

The finish is MASSIVE, lasting for minutes as my friend mentions several times that he can still taste the whisky and it's really surprised him.

So much so that 4 or 5 days later I get an sms from him asking for the link to my whisky blog and then I hear from some other friends that he's commenting that he might just start getting into whisky.

Now for the bad news, Octomore Orpheus 2.2 which is a 5 year old whisky (once more I'm left asking the people who insist that a whisky much be 15, 18, 21+ years old to be good to please try this whisky and tell me that young whiskies can't kick ass) is a limited edition and has since been discontinued.

I've never seen a bottle before and honestly I'd expect to pay over $200 AUS for a bottle of it, more likely more then that, but this whisky would be completely worth that price point!

If you're ever fortunate enough to see a bottle of this, or see it for sale by the dram, grab it!

It's VERY awesome Rigmorole. Not one that I'd ever thought to hunt out, but one that always had my interest. I've never tried any of the other Octomores, but I'll be getting a chance to try the 5.1/5.2 next week, which I can't wait to! Bloody hard to find whisky, but I've got feelers out there trying to put hands on a bottle or two of it.

It's beautiful Victor! Little update was that a couple of hours after posting this review my friend who I'd gone to the bar with, contacted me asking me if I could find him a bottle of this. He'd already tried the distillery and had been informed that they don't ship outside the UK and was desperate to get his hands on a bottle....

Another whisky convert!


Pale amber colour. The aroma is rich, peaty and aromatic. Iodine, oak and a bracing brininess as well. Intense charriness and a touch of soft fruit and wood that just underlie the rich peat. This is incredibly intense with a bracing smokiness. There are some light toasted caramel notes in back as well. It opens up and although the peat and smoke are always the star you get some of the underlying complexity and a bit of honey and fruit come out. A damn fine dram.


Bruichladdich's Octomore Orpheus 2.2 was finished using Chateau Petrus wine casks. The phenol count is 140 ppm. The whisky is 5 years old. 15,000 bottles were released in 2010. The reviewed bottle has been open for 5 months, and is 50% full

This review is in a non-time-sequential format (SQVH). For further reference on this format see my review of Royal Canadian Small Batch

Strength: strong peat flavours with mild accompanying smoke, strong wine flavours, plenty of vanilla from the oak, a nice measured touch of salt, and ample support from that lovely underlying high quality Bruichladdich barley-malt. Nothing here is in excess and nothing is lacking in the strength of the individual flavours Score 24/25

Quality: the Chateau Petrus wine flavours are superlative--rich, broad, and sweet, while retaining a beautiful focus and pointedness. The peat is astonishingly soft, sweet, gentle, and beautiful, despite its high concentration. Smoke is present, but is remarkably discreet and gentle. Jim Murray said it perfectly when he said that tasting this is "...like jumping into a bed of feathers." This whisky is astonishing, rare, gentle, beautiful, and incredibly rich. The underlying barley-malt flavours are top-notch as well. Octomore Orpheus definitively gives the lie to the idea that a Scottish malt whisky must be considered "young" at five years old. There aren't many 20 yo Scottish malts as "old"/mature as is Octomore Orpheus 2.2. Score 25/25

Variety: the nose, taste buds, and mind have much to marvel at as they behold the astonishing peat, beautiful wine, and lovely underlying barley-malt base. When I taste this my mind races back and forth from how excellent each of these components is. Score 24/25

Harmony: the parts are spectacular as individual components, but the experience of beholding them together is every bit as beautiful and spell-binding. The harmony of the parts is magnificent. A 97 score requires and symbolises for me a transcendent whisky experience. Bruichladdich Octomore Orpheus 2.2 delivers that experience to me every time I take a sip of it. For me there isn't much whisky made anywhere in the world which is as good as this is. Score 24/25

@OlJas, very interesting. Thanks for the tip!

There are some whiskies that you at first like, but which grow mightily on you with exposure. Octomore 2.2 Orpheus is one of those for me. @dbk gave me a sample of 2.2 from his bottle in early 2011, and that sample just burned a hole in my head. It made a huge impression. I couldn't believe it when I saw an available bottle in 2012 and snatched it up. The bottle never disappointed me, and pretty much every time I took a sip I involuntarily exclaimed "Oh my God!". Finishing that bottle has left me with a huge sense of loss, something only a very few whiskies do.

@achen,..."I know it's been awhile"--19 months since your post. I am very sorry I didn't see it at the time. Yes, I did keep both the bottle and tin for Octomore Orpheus 2.2. The tin is probably the wildest whisky tin I have seen in a bright fluorescent red(-orange); the black bottle is just about the slickest whisky bottle I have seen. These souvenirs stir up powerful pleasant memories.

Wow. What a remarkable review. For now, being fairly new on the scene, my reviews may be a tad excitable considering my lack of a deep foundation. With time, it's possible I will reevaluate my previous reviews and adjust scores on a bit of a curve.

When someone such as yourself gives such a sterling recommendation, I take it highly. Thank you for this review! It was a pleasure to enjoy.


Okay, time for the more serious peatjob. This Octomore (my first!), which is distilled at Bruichladdich (the plans to rebuild the Octomore distillery have been postponed until further notice), is only 5 years old and finished on (expensive!) Chateau Pétrus wine casks – which explains the somewhat salmon sheen in the color. It is a heavily peated beast of no less than 140ppm. That is pretty amazing. Add to that the high ABV and I think I will keep a bottle of water handy when tackling this one.

Oh my, I have only just poured the dram and already the whole room is starting to smell of peat, stable and tar. But when I slide the glass over the remnants of my Movember moustache I get a completely different profile. Sweet berries and sugared cornflakes. The two extremes are so incompatible, you would not believe it. And still… it works! What a wonderful heretic of a nose! Adding water weakens the wine influence. I am sure that is not the intention.

I was afraid my mouth would explode with this ABV, but my fear was unwarranted. Sipping carefully never hurts, though. What a harmonious taste! The wine is obviously present in the form of sweet berries and Cointreau and is perfectly countered by the peat smoke and tar. Adding water makes it more smoky, spicy and sweeter and frankly simply superb.

The finish is very long on spices, sugared tangerines and smoke.

Well, I did not know what to expect, but my first date with Octomore was a very pleasant one. At the moment of release – in 2009 – this was the most heavily peated dram on the market. That honor currently is bestowed upon the Octomore Ochdamh-more 04.1/4_167 with a whopping 167ppm, released in June 2011. This Orpheus will set you back approximately 100 EUR. But you sure get bang for your buck.


Colour is a dusty rose, no doubt the Petrus cask.

Nose is ... uh ... phenolic? Not mediciney, more like the smoke effect of suckling pig (in a confined room). Small undertone of very fresh grain, wheat field. A small note of cherry.

Medium bodied, not really rich and coating, but chewy. The first taste is all soot and black smoke. Long lasting. Like 45 seconds of growth from smokey, to just burning sensation.


I've been looking forward to trying this Drinks by the Dram bottle from Master of Malt which I picked up, and having found my recent tastings bereft of peat I figured why not try to redress the balance with a dip into Octomore country.

Good lord. With only the PC6 as my yardstick I dove in for a sniff. "Toffee, but threatening". Giving it a bit of time also gave up some soap. I wondered if somehow this wasn't the peaty belter it was promised to be (although was wary of falling for this when trying an Alchemist Port Charlotte a few years back). With water I felt like the alcohol was poking at my nose even harder, although the threat level was lowering, and perhaps a slightly barnyard smell crept in.

Sipping cautiously my first impression was rubber, and then as I exhaled the peat announced its presence. And for minutes, with every breath, a firm reassertion of that peat. But also Some reassuring dark wood and leather, and a very culinary taste which I want to describe as BBQ, but isn't. Reducing gave me a sweeter stewed fruit flavour and scared the peaty brutality back to the ceiling. The aftertaste now delivering the dirty tongue, medicinal and tar flavours.

The finish rolled on like a storm which has passed - you're still wet and can clearly remember the experience, and all you can hear for ages is the thunder receding slowly into the distance.

I'm going to be tasting that well into the weekend. Amazing.

Very nicely put. I've always been slightly cautious if this whisky, but I guess I should give it a whirl.

Sounds fascinating!


An exceptional scotch that you won't forget. Deceptively smooth, teasingly complicated, and possessing a finish that will delight the senses and enrich the moment. Forget about the statistics -- just nose it, let if flutter in your mouth, and breathe deep. You're alive.

First, there's the smoke. Ah, the smoke. If you thought of yourself in love with Islay scotches before, Octomore will have you renewing your vows. But make no mistake -- this is an enchanting and vibrant drink on so many dimensions. PPM counts aside, this release of Octomore is wholly accessible, even if it craves attention. There is marshmallow on the nose with honey and some vanilla, all vying for your attention before that wondrous phenol overload hits. Leave it in a glass on the table for 15 minutes and let the room embrace the drink.

Then there's the first sip. Wow. Octomore starts out not unlike a cask strength Highland Park, in that the concentration of honey and syrup finds you quickly before letting you focus on the peat and smoke building behind it. Wait for it. A finish to remember, but remember to breathe deep.

An unforgettable whiskey that should be bought in pairs: one to discover yourself, and one to set aside for your son to discover.

A wonderful tasting note. Thank you! You make Octomore seem much more approachable and less intimidating than one might expect just considering the phenol PPM count. Thanks to your encouragement, Octomore is now in my list. I plan to build my peat muscles with some Ardbeg Supernova first.

This is an awesome old review. How I wish I were renewing my vows!

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