I had drifted again but still there’s time for a review of the next Octomore trio. We reviewed the 9.1/10.1/11.1 trio and 9.2/10.2/11.2 trio and now it’s the x.3 series turn.
Octomore x.3 series is more similar to the x.1 series but it focus on local barley grown in the Octomore farm. Like x.1 series it’s all ex-bourbon casks with slightly different age and PPM:
- Octomore 9.3 is 5 Year Old, peated to 133ppm.
- Octomore 10.3 is 6 Year Old, peated to 114ppm.
- Octomore 11.3 is 5 Year Old and is peated to 194 ppm.
Octomore 9.3 5 Year Old (58.2%, 133ppm, €160)
Nose: Sweet smoke, perfume, farmy, hay, fields, cattle, honey, coals smoke, wildfire smoke, fumes, peaches and melon, vanilla.
Palate: Oily, bitter and sour vanilla laced peat, almost soapy (with lavender), farmy, honey, dried petals, sweet peat, melon and peaches.
Finish: Medium long length, sweet peat, sour vanilla, honey and chimney smoke.
In a nutshell: Farmy and balanced.
Octomore 10.3 6 Year Old (61.3%, 114ppm, £138)
Nose: restrained and hiding malevolent nose, slowly develop smoke, honey, apricot and melon. With a few drops of water it gets livelier, fruity, perfume, peat and far less smoke and better balance.
Palate: Smoky, chimney smoke, drying, fruity, peaches, pears and apricots, honey. With water a spirity note, cereal and malt, and lots of dry smoke! and eventually more fruitiness.
Finish: Medium long length, sweet smoke, dry smoke, honey and apricots.
In a nutshell: Simple at first, but water help. Smoky, and not much peat (relatively).
Octomore 11.3 5 Year Old (61.7%, 194ppm, £168.90/€159.99)
Nose: Sweet nose, honey, cereals, pears, oh there’s salt here, lemon zest, sharp smoke develops and even a bit acrid. Some greenery and unripe peaches and after a while also whiffs of tobacco leaves and papaya joins the greenery fruits choir. With water the green fruits dissipate but there’s earthiness, milk chocolate and gin.
Palate: Sweet smoke, dusty, coals dust, brine, meaty and leathery, honey, a touch of vanilla. With water there’s espresso, chocolaty peat and it’s very earthy.
Finish: Medium long finish, lingering smoke, ashy and dusty, chocolate paste, earthiness and chocolate.
In a nutshell: At first a bit simplistic (trending theme I’d say) but better with treatment albeit less smoky than 10.3.
Thoughts: Like with the x.1 series It’s an interesting experience to taste them side by side and to notice the subtle (and some not so subtle) differences between the releases. Octomore 9.3 is quite farmy but also the best balanced out of the three giving out a complex set of flavors and smells. The other two (10.3 and 11.3) are quite similar in their theme and profile. 10.3 is more smoky while 11.3 is earthy and chocolaty with time/oxygen and water treatment. My favorite of the three was 9.3 because I’m lazy although 11.3 is excellent as well in my book if you’re willing to invest a bit in it.