OBAN 14 Year Old
The distillery is at the heart of Oban – “Gateway to the Isles”. In effect, the town grew up around the distillery, founded by John and Hug Stevenson in 1794.
Oban’s attractive West Highland character reflects its location, revealing aspects of both the Highland and the Island styles. Elegant and glowing, it marries the sea air character of the Island malts to the soft, richly fruity style of the Highlands, creating its own rich tasting West Highlands malt.
The stills here are among the smallest in Scotland. The cramped nature of the site places severe limits on production, which in turn means that demand for Oban’s richly appreciated malt is always likely o exceed supply.
Few malts were ever made in the Western Highlands and only two now remain. Oban, like its home, remains their capital. Oban is the unforgetable West Highland destination on a journey around Scotland’s six malt whisky making regions.
Immediate and confident; rapidly gaining intensity. Warming and sweet: oily, waxy and nutty, balanced by delicate ripe orchard fruits. Then, lighter notes of an almondy fruit cake sit atop a denser layer of Christmas pudding. Behind, malty cereal notes are offset by aromatic orange. Much later: traces of brine and smoke, a little menthol and pine resin.
Long. Quite syrupy at first, then drying, with elegant coating tannins rich in dark chocolate character. Later, pine-fresh. At once cleansing yet chewy, with just a trace of late, slightly cedary, smoke.
in brief… A well-paced, beautifully textured and sweetly generous Oban, whose warming richness is neatly balanced by a smoky spicy-dryness; perfect with a chocolate truffle or two.
in a sentence… An immediate and assertive, complex and evocative nose, well balanced and well-structured throughout with layers of classic Oban fruit and malt, introduces an equally well balanced palate that starts richly coating then grows dryer and more cleansing, before a long and oaky finish.
Dense and coating, spicy too; sweet, yet menthol- fresh. Filling and warming, with the comforting chewiness of rich fruit-bread and hints of orange zest and clove, before growing drier, still minty, with crisp green apple. Less dense and fruitier with just a little water, which allows the classic Oban fruit, malt and maritime hints free reign until the balancing, drying spice returns.