The distillery of Oban is situated in a town of the same name but interestingly the small coastal town began flourishing and came up after the distillery was built in the late 18th century. With its two pot stills, it is one of the smallest functional distilleries in Scotland. Oban is renowned for its 14 year old expression but also offers a Distiller’s Edition bottling, which they finish in Montilla Fino sherry casks before bottling. An 18 year old limited edition expression and a rare 32 year old edition are also available. In December 2014 Oban had introduced a non-age-statement expression, called the Little Bay.
The Oban 14 can most often be seen along with the Lagavulin 16 from the island of Islay, Glenkinchie 12 from the Lowlands, Talkiser 10 from the Isle of Skye, Cragganmore 12 from Speyside and Dalwhinnie 15 from the Highland as a part of it’s owner, Diageo’s six Classic Malts Selection. You can read more about the other whiskies here: http://eatsiprepeat.com/the-six-classic-malts-i/, http://eatsiprepeat.com/the-six-classic-malts-ii/ and http://eatsiprepeat.com/the-six-classic-malts-iii/ .
Oban 14 is one of the two whiskies from the Scottish Highlands to feature in Diageo’s. However, since the distillery is situated on the western part of the region it is widely identified as a whisky to hail from the Western Highlands. The distillery’s close proximity to the sea has a big role to play in the flavours imparted by the conditions helping it to identify its own distinct identity. The face that it is distilled in pot stills also influences the final outcome of Oban 14. Here is my take on it.
Colour: Deep gold.
Nose: Citrus-y and fruity sweetness followed by hints of smoke.
Body: Full bodied and rich.
Palate: Rich honey, sweet dry fruits like figs and apricots which gradually make way for some spiciness and notes of smoke.
Finish: The sweetness and smoke are linger on for a while finally getting replaced by a dry, oak woodiness.
Pairing: I enjoyed my Oban 14 with a 80% dark chocolate. Sip the whisky, savour it for a while and then take a tiny bite of the chocolate. I found that the rich cocoa brought out the sweetness of the whisky even more.