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May 27, 2016


Little duets, Oban vs. Oban

Oban’s one of the most lovely distilleries, especially in the West of the mainland. But the output is small, so there aren’t many versions and the indies do not seem to have any.

Oban 14 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2015)

Oban 14 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2015) Four stars The last rotation I tried was circa 2012, and I had troubles with the nose, which was kind of bretty, as they say in wine. I had ended my note with ‘we’ll try Oban 14 again in a few years’. Here we are. Colour: gold. Nose: well, it’s still rather cardboardy and mustardy, leathery, with touches of skin care. Green walnuts. What’s nicer is this mineral side, sea battered rocks… And the manzanilla! A rather salty fino. The troubling aromas tend to go away, this baby just needs time. Mouth: wood smoke? And more mustard, radish, salt, walnuts… It’s as if Oban 14 was getting bigger and more and more coastal over the years. Some strong ‘dryish’ honey, more manzanilla, some malt, and just a wee drop of soy sauce. I really enjoy all this dryness. Finish: long, with a most pleasant salty and smoky bitterness. Would that be manzanilla again? Comments: huge progress! It’s become a bigger whisky. I used to have it at 80, and now it’s… SGP:362 - 86 points.

Oban 1999/2014 'Distiller's Edition' (43%, OB, Montilla fino finish)

Oban 1999/2014 'Distiller's Edition' (43%, OB, Montilla fino finish) Four stars Hey, haven’t they used these fino casks for the regular 14 too? That may explain why I found the latter so, well, fino-ish. Colour: gold. Nose: it’s close indeed. Perhaps a little rounder, a notch less coastal, with a little more dried fruits. But that would be dry fruits, such as these excellent small figs they have in Turkey. Other than that, it’s juts as leathery and ‘walnutty’. Hints of marmalade, whiffs of cigarette smoke. Mouth: same feeling, a rather fatter Oban, but the profiles are very close. Perhaps a little more pepper in this one? What’s sure is that it rather feels 46% vol. Finish: rather long, full, nutty, fino-ish (obviously), salty, peppery… Some dry ale in the aftertaste. Comments: it’s funny that while being located in a very touristy area, Oban would not quite be a malt for beginners or casual drinkers. SGP:462 - 86 points.

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


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