Distiller: Oban. Region: Highlands. ABV: 43%. Age: 14-15 years. Price: $90-120.
Oban is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, but a popular single malt in the U.S.–with the joke/not-joke reason being that people aren’t afraid to try to pronounce it.
It’s got plenty more going for it. The standard Oban 14 is an excellent example of richness, balance, and approachability, and easy one to recommend to just about anybody.
Oban’s annual Distiller’s Editions up the game in a great way. The standard 14-year-old is given a very welcome finish in Montilla Fino for an additional 6-18 months.
I first had this excellent 2013 Edition at that year’s WhiskyFest Chicago, and greeted it like an old friend when I recently got to revisit it. The nose is hugely, bewitchingly aromatic, with hothouse flowers, ginger, and allspice. The palate has lots of buttery, biscuity malt, together with the spice from the palate. The finish brings dried fruit rinds and white pepper.
Lovely mouthfeel, and it holds its own at 43% ABV…though a cask strength of this would really be something.
Slàinte, friends! – BO