Google Three Oban including that Gothic one

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

July 12, 2019


Three Oban including that Gothic one

There aren’t many occasions to taste Oban, especially not new ones. The indies, including Cadenhead, haven’t released any since ages, while the owners only do the occasional Special Release and some Distillers Editions from time to time. And that NAS, what is it again, Cloudy Bay? Ah, no, Little Bay. And there was that Gothic Game of Thrones Edition. But first, an older 14 as the aperitif…

Oban 14 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2005)

Oban 14 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2005) Two stars and a half
Shall we find marmalade and leather, with that trademark wee saltiness?... Colour: gold. Nose: certainly more coastal than I remembered, more on dried kelp, paraffin, some kind of grassy polish, and a lot of raw wax and plasticine, almost bordering soap at times. There’s also something metallic, old copper kettle, grandma’s old silver cutlery, as well as chestnut burr, autumn leaves… It’s really dry. Mouth: salty indeed, dry, with quite a lot leather and tobacco, as well as even more paraffin. Oban’s a pretty touristy distillery, but the whisky isn’t, that’s for sure. Notes of both old and fresh walnuts. I think recent releases were in a higher league, I really enjoyed Oban 14 last time I tried it, in 2016 (WF 88), but this one from ten years before was more difficult, I think. Finish: rather long, a little too sooty and metallic. Almost no fruits. Comments: a rather austere Oban 14, with this peculiar soapiness that one won’t find in any newer bottling, as it appears. Whisky wasn’t always better before.
SGP:362 - 79 points.

Oban 2001/2016 'Distiller's Edition' (43%, OB, Montilla fino finish, batch OD 165.FB)

Oban 2001/2016 'Distiller's Edition' (43%, OB, Montilla fino finish, batch OD 165.FB) Four stars
 Fino’s very dry, so let’s see if that made this little Oban extra-dry! Many websites advertise it as a ‘sherry finish’ but it was Montilla, not Jerez. But it’s true that those appellations are very close… By the way, I thought the 1999 was very good (WF 86). Colour: gold. Nose: indeed it really works. Really a lot of walnuts, which I love, old books, some oranges at the fruit department, leafy teas, dried kelp, a touch of cigar smoke, a pile of old magazines, dried pears… It all works in synch, very nice. Mouth: Oban DE really isn’t too different from the regular 14, it’s just saltier, tenser, with a little mustard, bags of walnuts, coffee beans, and some very dry ale. All things that I rather enjoy. Finish: rather long, dry, pretty ashy. Cardboardy in a good way. Drops of brine in the aftertaste. Comments: I’ll keep it at a solid 86. Also, I like it that they did not push the oak.
SGP:362 - 86 points.

And now, a bloodbath. I mean, the GOT Edition…           

Oban Bay Reserve ‘Game Of Thrones The Night’s Watch’ (43%, OB, 2018)

Oban Bay Reserve ‘Game Of Thrones The Night’s Watch’ (43%, OB, 2018) Four stars
Game Of Thrones, remember? This one’s NAS, just like Little Bay. Colour: dark gold. Nose: it is more modern, with more oak, ginger, and nutmeg, but I wouldn’t call it ‘pencil-shaving-y’. Whiffs of tapioca, but also marmalade, tangerine skin, caraway and cloves, even juniper, then more ripe pears and apples, as well as plums and muscovado sugar. It’s all well-composed, you can feel a good blender’s been working on this. Mouth: a good surprise, this is relatively fat and creamy, yet salty, with some iodine, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon, plus the usual marmalade. Bitter oranges. Tends to become a little drying, having said that, quite tannic, as some over-infused black tea. Not a bad feeling. Finish: medium, with more bread dough, more natural malt, these ashes and this smoke (cigarettes), as well as this seaweed. Comments: they could have used those fino casks here too, this one being just a tad sweeter. I don’t think it deserved those jeers from the whisky ‘community’.
SGP:462 - 85 points.

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