A Burst of Citrus and Sea Spray
The first bottle of scotch I bought was the Oban Distillers Edition after I toured the distillery. That bottle was distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2015 so it was closer to 16 years than this (my 3rd or 4th) bottle at 14 years. Oban is a sentimental favorite as the distillery was where I had my first drink of scotch, ever. And you see where that led me!
Distillery: Oban Distillery (pronounced Oh-bin)
Expression: The Distillers Edition
Origin: Western Highlands
Age: 14 year
Date Distilled: 2003
Date Bottled: 2017
Cask: 1st – Bourbon / 2nd – Montilla Fino
Sampling it neat….
Color: Light Amber Honey
Nose: Brine and citrus with a hint of sweet honey
Palate: Satsuma citrus (sweeter than tart), salty with slight pepper spice
Finish: Dry finish, no heat, hints of vanilla and oak
This dram is quite pleasant on the nose with no offensive alcohol fumes. It’s clean, light, and bursting with citrus on the nose and palette. The underlying brine comes honestly considering Oban sits on the west coast of Scotland – literally steps from the bay.
The prominent citrus flavor is sweeter, like the satsumas (similar to a Mandarin orange) that grow in south Louisiana. It’s an easy sipper. I prefer my whisky neat and there is no burn or heat to this expression. There is a peppery spice that appears after the citrus wanes which adds to its complexity.
The double maturation in Spanish Montilla Fino casks gives it that dry, clean finish while retaining the richness from the ex-Bourbon casks in which it spent most of its time.
With a little water… Brought out more salt on the nose, kept the citrus but lost the honey. More pepper on the palate, less sweet citrus. Thinner finish with heavier oak flavor. Still a delectable dram.
I like this bottle, a lot. While it is sentimental it is also exceptionally good, and the quality has been consistent between various bottlings. My first purchases ran $85 but now it’s hard to find in my area less than $120. I still think it’s a good value and would recommend it, especially to someone who likes bourbon but couldn’t deal with something too heavy or peaty.
Have you had this dram? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!
By the Way…
I shot these photos of my latest bottle of Oban D.E. about the time the 2019 Polar Vortex was bearing down on the country. The Satsuma tree in my backyard was still loaded with gorgeous fruit. We have very mild winters but our summers, well that’s a different story.