Oban 14

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Originally reviewed on reddit on 25/02/15

Oban is one of the less common Diageo malts. A highland distillery from the coastal town of Oban, and one of the smaller distilleries in Scotland. I didn’t know anything about Oban other than having seen it a few times in the duty free shop in Johannesburg and wondering if it was worth buying, but I never got round to it.

Then during last years local blind tasting competition it popped up. I’m not 100% certain but I think the notes I have are from there. Either way I quite liked it and put it on my to buy list. Luckily for me 2 months later some friends gifted me a bottle which I savour now and then.

Oban is quite an obscure malt, it’s only available in a handful of expressions, namely the 14 year old, ‘Little Bay’ (NAS travel retail, *shudder*,), distiller’s edition and a few ultra rare special releases. Unfortunately for what you get they’re all a tad on the pricey side.

Aged 14 years, 43%ABV

Nose: Light smoke, Green herbs, Anise, Pineapple, Dessert wine, bit of lemony sourness, Buttered toast.

Palate: Light Peat, toasted wood, brine, butter, more pineapple.

Finish: Meidum but full-bodied, light smoke, generic fruit, spice.

Rating: Try this

Global VFM: 2/5

Local VFM: N/A

These must have been the blind notes as I’ve just poured myself a dram and I’m not getting any peat, could just be the saltiness and herbal notes playing tricks. This is quite a difficult malt, very spicy, very salty and even somewhat aggressive, but once you get used to it, it can actually be quite pleasant. I particularly like the leathery, somewhat smoky character it has. An acquired taste, but one worth acquiring.

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