So we reach the end of my scotch filled holiday. This time with a scotch that has been talked about a few times here, and is one of my personal favorites – truly a spirit of ‘if you were stranded on an island and could have a crate of just one spirit’ sort of favorite. I am of course speaking of Oban. While Auchentoshan was my first time I really tried and realized I loved scotch, my first Oban was when I realized I was in love with scotch.
For those wondering about what the literature says, here’s a detailed look at scotch regions. From here you can see that islands is a bit more broken up, and Orkney is sometimes thought as it’s own, but in short there really are 6 regions of scotch all very distinct and proving that as I learned from the scots ‘there is always a scotch for you, you simply need to find it.’
What they Say: “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 Hugh 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 Highland 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 to 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 unforgettable West Highland destination on a journey around Scotland’s six malt whisky making regions. The other Classic Malts are:
Glenkinchie – Lowland
Dalwhinnie – Highland
Cragganmore – Speyside
Talisker – Skye
Lagavulin – Islay”
Taste: 6.0 – I hate the term, but it really has a body or gravity to it. The flavors are nicely combined in their complexity, but it lacks a strength in taste because of that.
Aftertaste: 7.0 – Here the more citrus or floral like flavors escape mingled with the peat and smoke. It’s is undeniably delicious.
Burn/Smooth: 7.0 – There’s a small twinge, but it is otherwise smooth as hell, and the warmth is so welcome to have.
Aroma: 9.5 – I could go on, but here’s the thing. After smelling this I let out a moan that I am glad did not have company in the room. So while I will admit that I might be biased and not give it the 10 damn do I want candles of this.
Honesty: 7.5 – Most folks likely think there are only 4 regions of scotch, ignoring Skye and the West Highlands, to be fair as they mention themselves it’s mostly a region consisting of Oban, but their unique style – their beautiful label design and container design firmly place them on the same level of the other Classic Malts mentioned (of which we’ve tried all, but it seems we need to review them). Best of all they don’t lie to you with some made up notes, or otherwise wanky text merely saying – hey this is who we are and where we are.
W/ Rocks: 8.0 – All this does it bring that wonderful aftertaste forward, giving you more complexity in taste; however it feels better non-chilled so my actual suggestion is just a few drops of water here.
Value: 6.0 – I saw a lot of variance for this, and that’s something that carries into personal experience; however if you can find it for this price or lower – please pick it up. It is not a supreme value, but when I have to make a choice with my dollars – the only reason I personally don’t buy this is because I run a review site.
Google Shop Average: $60
Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oban_distillery (Their site either does not exist or is annoyingly hiding)
Metric Score: 51/70 |+| Metric Average: 7.29 |+| Reviewer Average: 8.0
Final Thoughts: When this video came out recently I had the distinct pleasure of showing it to someone who had not seen it yet, and while doing so I pulled the Oban that was sitting in my bar and followed along. As far as final thoughts go – this is certainly an Andrews Delight as well.