Oban 1969 32 Years Old (2002)
A whisky friend of mine actually owns a bottle of the Oban 1969 32 Years Old, and we’ve been trying for years for him to open it. Alas, no luck so far. But come to think of it, he might open it later this year in December, as that’s when he hits the big 5-0.
Oban is one of Diageo’s smaller distilleries, and not much of it hits the market as a single malt. The Distillers Edition is a yearly staple, and recently an Oban was released as part of the Game of Thrones single malts. But overall Oban’s Whiskybase page is one of the most scarcely populated entries in the database.
This Oban 1969 is easily one of the highest rated on Whiskybase, and is also the oldest Oban ever released. For fans of Oban, this is quite simply a bucket list dram. While I wouldn’t put myself in that group (there’s not much Oban around, so I haven’t tasted a lot of it, and thus I can hardly call myself a fan), I sure am happy that I get to try this.
Oban 1969 32 Years Old (55.1%, OB, 2002)
Nose: Oy, that’s a lot of orange. Cointreau, but also more vibrant orange zest. Oh, and there’s plums too. Pretty intense. Hints of marzipan, as well as melted butter and beeswax. There’s a touch of shoe polish, and just a whiff of peat smoke, and paraffin.
Taste: Sweet. Honey comb, orange peel, orange marmalade, and a touch of menthol that goes a long way. Some more marzipan and warming cinnamon, but also a whiff of wood smoke, resin, shoe polish and maldon salt. The balance is beautiful.
Finish: Lingering resin notes, accompanied by subtle citrus and a whiff of smoke.
It’s the balance that makes this whisky. Beautiful stuff. I forgot, but I believe I got this sample from Dirk? Whoever it was, thanks for sharing!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.