Oban 14 Years Old (Official Bottling)
40% ABV, £40 for 70cl
What they say:
Part of Diageo’s ‘Classic Malts Range’ launched in 1988. The 14 years old is the basic expression out of the Oban distillery established in 1794 and stimulating the town which sprung up around the distillery and harbour and adopted the same name. Oban distillery is one of the smallest in Scotland having only 2 copper pot stills. The whisky produced here is described as West Highland style, intermediary between the dry, smoky styles of the Island malts and the lighter, sweeter malts of the Highland region.
Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt [http://www.masterofmalt.com/]
The nose is rich and smoky. The medicinal notes are quite evident with notes of the sea; seaweed, tarry ropes. There are notes of cut hay and wood smoke rising with a gentle estery sweetness. The palate is thick and full. Notes of citrus with smooth sweetness. The smoke wafts with notes of seaweed. The oak is quite rich with grist and cereal and malt. The finish is of good length with fruit and dry oak.
What I say:
I received a selection of the classic malt selection as a gift from a very good friend of ours after a visit to our local Glenkinchie distillery. Within the selection was a 20cl bottle of Oban amongst others I had tried previously. I was quite looking forward to trying this as I had heard how Oban typifies and champions the West Highland region as a whisky region all of its own.
Cereal barley malt, heather honey, slight sweetness
Creamy heather honey, cereal, hint of ginger but without heat, salted caramels, peat and burnt caramelised sugar or treacle
Short and a little drying, brown sugar and dark rum
Would I buy it:
No I don’t think so, I don’t really love the flavours of this dram together, although individually it is made up of lots of flavours I really like. This seems like a whisky with a little bit of everything but with no particular character of its own. It is certainly not bland but I came away with the impression that it was un-memorable. I’m not sure I see what all the fuss is about as I know Oban has its fervent fans, I am sadly just not one of them.