Distilled in 2013 from the 2012 harvest, the Octomore 10.3 has been brought home by farmer James Brown. Taking on the challenge of growing Islay Barley, he braces the conditions of the wet and wild west coast to combine an exploration of Islay terroir and stratospheric smoke.
For the first time, the .3 is matured for six aged years but crucially only in ex-American oak. These top-quality casks have gently coaxed this Octomore spirit into life in Warehouse 16, next to our 10.1 edition. The components of our 10.1 and 10.3 are so similar, the distinct flavour difference must be owed to the barley’s respective growing location.
CHARACTER – Marine freshness, Islay air and a deep rooted level of fruitiness from the distillation characterise this release.
AROMA – Earthy peat smoke, dry and a little medicinal, lemon drops, and thyme come through and then marine, sea shell notes along with some vanilla and fudge from the oak.
TASTE – Salt on the lips and more honey and lemon on the palate, then the peat sweeps in with the oak and heat from the high strength. Deeper flavours from the spirit, pear and gooseberry are more defined and richer.
FINISH – Sweet on the finish initially with pastry and chocolate but then bitter notes of rubbery smoke and spice towards the end.
COLOUR – Pale straw.