Whisky Review – Oban 14 year old

Oban 14 year old
43% ABV
£42.90 available from Whisky Galore at the Green Welly Stop

Filling in some gaps in my general supermarket available malts, and Oban is one of those. Long past time I tasted and reviewed it. On first opening this bottle I have to say I was not impressed. It was very sweet and one dimensional. It needed a number of days and a touch of air to get its act together. A great example of not judging a whisky on its first sniff/sip.

Nose.

Heather honey sweet. Wood char and slight damp dunnage warehouse. Touches of ozone, sea air, light salt. Airy, clean and fresh. Stewed cooking apple. Grape juice. Cinnamon. Some oak. Clean linen(!). It’s a very light and fresh nose, easily sniffable, nothing stands out or bangs you in the face, it’s one to get into and search for things.

Palate.

Initially sweet in the arrival, light mouthfeel, crisp. In the development some spices come into play, pepper, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon. We have the apple infused honey from the nose, some sweet toffee, a touch of chocolate, a little floral, and a little charred oak. It’s very gentle all the way through. Very pleasant, non offensive, reasonably complex, but with nothing standing out.

Finish.

Medium, light finish. Sweet honey, touch of apple/grape juice and some pepper. A touch of oak. It’s actually quite a long finish, but non abrasive with no particular flavour dominating. Gentle.

Adding water.

Tiny drop, this feels well diluted as it is. The nose is now thoroughly concentrated on the floral aspects, with a little fruit juice remaining. The palate, weaker, and has introduced a slight salty bitterness during the development. The finish has retained this saltiness, and added a little vanilla ice cream. Hmmm, it’s a strange one as to add water or not, on one hand it is weakened, but the bitter touches can be somewhat nice and the finish is a little different now. Try with and without and make your own mind up on this one, I wouldn’t add too much though. Personally I prefer overall without.

Conclusion

This is a very gentile single malt. Has some nice maritime characteristics, but all the time nothing really stands out about this whisky. It’s an easy enough drinker and if you want something light and mellow at the pub, this is the whisky of choice.

From my own stash

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