Octomore 10.3 Islay Barley

Octomore 10.3 Islay Barley

Octomore 10.3 was distilled in 2013 from Islay Barley (Concerto variety) grown by farmer James Brown. It is aged for six years, only in first-fill American oak barrels from Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniels.

It is closely related to Octomore 10.1 and it’s interesting compare both and look for differences that must be owed to the barley’s specific location.

At ‘only’ 114 ppm of phenols, it is less heavily peated than most other Octomore releases.


Octomore 10.3 6 yo 2013 (61,3%, OB 2019, 24000 btl.)

Nose: quite mature, with hints of TCP, lemon freshness and heathery, almost floral smoke. Quite mineral as well. Some apple sourness and pear sweetness in the background, as well as leafy notes, thyme and leaven. Whiffs of vanilla after a while.

oily and salty start, with sharp lemons, then apples and more maritime notes. Truckloads of ashes. Becomes wider and slightly sweeter. Rather more medicinal than other Octomores in my opinion. Grapefruit skin. 

Finish: long and warming, with roasted ham, floral peat, lemons and mineral notes.

Clean with a thorough Islay character, and a peatiness that comes across more maritime and medicinal. Good. Still available from The Whisky Exchange or Tyndrum Whisky for instance.