Bruichladdich has released the second edition of ten year old malts. The distillery had organised a twitter tasting and it was great fun following the #tenstroika tag.

One of the drams that was tasted online was the Octomore.

Photo as found on
The tasting notes for this dram were interesting. Why? The wood profile for the maturation of this dram is a combination of Fresh Bourbon and Grenache Blanc casks. The exact combination I have not been able to find (yet).

Some of the tasting notes during the twitter tasting were:

  • #tenstroika Octomore palate.. peat with a little peat and possibly a hint of peat..
  • loads of cask sweetness, peppers, chili, pepper, light fruits coming through #tenstroika #bestofthetrio  #TENSTROIKA Octomore 10.2 nose: aaaaaahhh…And some Piet, liquorice root and… port wine?
  • #TENSTROIKA Octo Palate – here is the real power now. First hot peppers than creamy and fruity. Chocolate at finish Octomore10. Nose : Peaty caramel, candied orange peels. Kumquats.
  • #tenstroika @Bruichladdich Notes of parsnip, ginger, creamy vanilla and loads of fruits with a lovely fire going in the room. What a finish!  #tenstroika @Bruichladdich brown sugar, dark chocolate, herbs, lemon, vanilla, honey, fennel, cherries, red summer fruits… and much more..
  • #tenstroika Octomore 10 Nose: smoked weetabix with berries and cream. yes?
  • #TENSTROIKA Octomore, 10.2 – Hot peppers! And still a creamy mouth feel, fruity, banana peel, red apples, long, looong ashy finish. Love it.
  • Octomore OB 10y 16/248 N:ash,smoke,apple,vanilla P:ash,smoke,salmiak,sichuan pepper,lemon,black cardamom,clove. Spicy sour smoke #tenstroika #tenstroika Octomore 10 quite well mannered and not punchy at all despite the 57% 167ppm. Ash+smoke, yes, but rather spicy, no raw-alco-hit
  • Octomore 10 mouth #2: The smoke is more medicinal. Burnt toast & dark chocolate. The balance is superb. #tenstroika Octomore 10 mouth: beautiful. Marvellously silky texture. Tart redcurrants. Pontack sauce, balsamic vinegar, plum and blackberry#tenstroika Octomore 10 nose: plum jam & blackcurrants. Floral. Hoppy, cereal. Tobacco, cigars. Fruity coffee. Cognac. Honey or golden syrup #tenstroika

As one can see the notes are covering many areas of origins. Malt  influences, cask influences, maturation influences, but also cultural based influences. With that I mean that some notes do not translate well between cultures, because of differences in national cooking styles.

I for instance have no idea what candied orange peel smells like. That’s because I have never been confronted with candied orange peel in my parents or my own household.

Maltman Mike was so kind to send me a 20 ml sample of the Troika, including the Octomore. I was able to nose and taste the Octomore. Yes!

Without further ado, here are my nerd style notes. I use the Scotch Whisky Flavour Wheel as basis. M is for taste / mouth. N is for nose.

Head Sub Descriptors Octomore 10
A: Peaty 1. Burnt Ash n / m
A: Peaty 2. Smokey Smoked cheese n
B: Grainy 1. Cereal Leathery n / m
B: Grainy 1. Cereal Tobacco n
B: Grainy 2. Malt Malted barley m
B: Grainy 2. Malt Wort m
C: Grassy 1. Fresh Leafy n
C: Grassy 2. Dried Mint n
C: Grassy 2. Dried Herbal n
D: Fruity 1. Solventy Nail varnish remover n
D: Fruity 2. Orchard Peaches n
D: Fruity 2. Orchard Pear n
D: Fruity 3. Tropical Banana n
D: Fruity 3. Tropical Melon n
E: Floral 1. Natural Honey n / m
G: Woody Extractive 5. Nutty Almond/marzipan n
G: Woody Extractive 6. Vanilla Ice cream m
G: Woody Extractive 6. Vanilla Cola m
G: Woody Extractive 6. Vanilla Chocolate n / m
G: Woody Extractive 8. Caramel Liquorice n
Nasal effect 2. Drying n

The influence of the Grenache Blanc casks is new to me. I had to be careful not to finish the dram in one go, so I spread it over three tastings. This does mean the impact of the alcohol, with a good mouth coat, I had to do without. So I may have missed some spicy influences.

I am unsure if I like the Grenache Blanc casks influence. I would need to study this dram more to make that call, but unfortunately I am all out. Please note that I did not say this is a bad dram, far from it. This would be excellent to explore Grenache Blanc casks influence further, but for that I would need more of the liquid.

So if you are feeling generous! 😉

Grenache Blanc