Whiskies from Oban Distillery are woefully underrepresented at Words of Whisky. It’s not that I don’t like Oban, on the contrary. It’s just that there aren’t that many available. Diageo aren’t heavily invested in promoting Oban, but they also don’t sell anything to whisky brokers or independent bottlers. If you’re an Oban groupie, it really is slim pickings.
One series that Oban fans can always count on is the annual Distillers Edition. Close to two dozen have been bottled over the years. The Distillers Edition (a series that also includes other Diageo distillers) is a release with a twist. Meaning it has enjoyed a finishing period Montilla Fino casks, a wine similar to sherry, although technically it’s not allowed to be called that.
Oban 1999 Distillers Edition (43%, OB, 2014)
Nose: This one is pretty shy and needs a little time to wake up. Some leather, conifer and pine needles. A whiff of resin, followed by apricots, stewed apples and a wee bit of smoke and cigarette tobacco.
Taste: A creamy mouthfeel. The palate is sweet and smoky, but slightly dry as well. Plenty of spice, with a fair amount of chili pepper and nutmeg, but there’s also some nice and subtle menthol notes. Finally some dried red fruit, as well as cherry syrup.
Finish: Drying with a pinch of salt, some smoke, and dried fruits as well.
A rich, full-bodied whisky that rather feels it has been bottled at a higher strength than it actually is. I quite like it.