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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

March 6, 2015


Two Oban

It’s a bit sad that there aren’t more occasions to taste new Obans these days, as no indies have any, apparently. In short, a different Oban is as rare as an action movie without Liam Neeson these days. Let’s see if we can taste these worm tubs… ;-)…

Oban 1998/2013 'Distillers Edition' (43%, OB, Montilla fino finish) Four stars No, Montilla isn't sherry, as is often written, but it's very close. Last time we tried Oban DE that was in 2009, with a 1993 that I really liked (WF 86) even if it's been rather destroyed by the extraordinary young 2000 'Managers' Choice. Colour: deep gold. Nose: there’s this salinity at first nosing, which comes with walnuts and tobacco, as well as touches of moist coffee grounds. Also some brine and – am I dreaming – seaweed. I find it more coastal than before. Notes of old wine cellar, a mustiness, infused mint leaves… All that is pretty complex! Mouth: spicy oranges with a layer of sweet mustard and sour apple cake, then more smoky notes. Green and spicy peat. The impression of chewing a good cigar. The strength works well, the sprit’s big enough. Finish: quite long, with some juniper, marmalade and a salty touch that plays with your lips. Comments: some personality! At times you’d think Oban is keeping a close eye on Campbeltown. Score unchanged, would probably be significantly higher at 45-46%. SGP:452 - 86 points.

Oban 'Little Bay' (43%, OB, 2015)

Oban 'Little Bay' (43%, OB, 2015) Four stars Another new NAS that comes with a story about wood management, but this time it’s a bit ‘different’. Various casks of different ages have been married together in 'small and relatively inactive' American oak barrels. That, I cannot not like, I've often shamelessly advocated the idea of using active wood first, rather than the opposite as is customary everywhere in Scotland (finishing). I also quite like the name 'interactive maturation'. Smart! Colour: deep gold. Nose: it’s not impossible that I should have had this baby before the DE, as it’s a little silent after that one. It noses like a milder, shier DE, but the distillery’s character still shines through, which is the main thing in my opinion. In fact it’s a little dryer, probably a little smokier, with less musty notes, but maybe a few more farmy ones. Slightly feintier as well. After ten minutes, we got even closer to the DE, but the little bay remains smokier. Some sawdust, but very little. Mouth: very close indeed! Quite an achievement, as this Little Bay is probably much younger than the DE. A little more on pepper, perhaps. Finish: quite long, rather dry, peppery, smoky and slightly grassy… Comments: forgot to say, Little Bay in Gaelic is… Oban. So this is Oban Oban. NAS with body and structure that doesn’t only come from the wood. SGP:363 - 85 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Oban I've tasted so far







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