Whisky Review – Octomore 7.4 Virgin Oak @bruichladdich

Octomore 7.4 Virgin Oak 

61.2% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£150 from The Whisky Exchange 


First pour and sniff. Racks of ribs. Burnt burnt burnt ends (yep, triple burnt), all dripping with a thick glutinous sweet barbecue glaze. Some softer vanilla in the background and some massive smoke producing bonfires. Quite breath taking as usual for an Octomore, it gets up your nose like a live wild fire and says…no bellows “HELLLLLLLLOOOOOOOO!” After 10 mins in the glass everything is a little quieter, sweeter, with a burnt toffee richness. 


Sweet, cherry Coke arrival, a little ABV heat, but nothing like the expected bang considering the high strength. Development, continues rich, exceptionally oily, thick, viscous, syrup texture (it’s very oily indeed, did I mention that?). Burnt toast, caramel, thick treacle toffee, vanilla pods, a touch of chewed pencil. The texture is like a smoothy! On further sips the back and sides of the tongue give more chewy toffee texture. It’s a very chewy dram indeed, can slosh it around for ages. 


Long long long, loads of smoke and charred oak furniture rescued from a bonfire still flaming away. The BBQ glaze comes back complete with phantom pulled pork in the teeth. (Oh crap I want BBQ now). Touches of sherried raisin are sensed right in the finale, some nicely grilled bacon, the exhale of a cigarette and general face enhancing joy. Big smile. Biiiiig smile!

Adding water. 

Adding a good few drops, but enjoying without in honesty. 🙂 The nose is oilier in the real world sense now, with some engine oil and added smoothening out of the vanillas, at the expense of a little of the meaty charred smokiness. The palate is creamier, sweeter, and has some added bramble berry fruits. The finish retains the smoke and char and some meatiness comes back. Great stuff. 


This is yummy, crazy, ball bustingly good whisky! I tried some Virgin oak matured Octomore straight from the cask when I was lucky enough to visit and it was a big bully of amazement. This bottling is very similar but not quite as big a bully, and that’s not a bad thing, much more approachable and enjoyable, this has a lot of lovely flavours and complexity and did I mention the texture?! Fundamentally thick. Love love love it!

Many thanks to Bruichladdich for the review sample

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