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Oban™ is one of my favorite “Highland” single malt scotches!!! I came to this much sought-after single malt through allot of years of drinking blended scotch whiskeys like Johnnie Walker Black. However, one has to work their way up to this smoky taste. Among single malt scotch aficionados, Oban ™ The color is deep yellow. The nose, light, refined and balances are marked by spices (pepper), citrus fruits and light woody and smoky hints. The palate is smooth and develops on peat with a smoky, malty finish with exotic fruit touches.Although I usually smoke cigars when I am drinking scotch; I have found that very few single malts can be tasted through cigar smoke on the palate; certainly none of the “Highland” scotches can stand up to a cigar! Thus, Oban ™ is a sipping scotch for me in the summer. Most important, a single malt aficionado drinks single malt scotch whiskey with only 3 to 4 drops of water per shot. No ice or mixers!
How does Oban ™ come by its unique flavor? According to their web site: “Oban is the frontier between the West Highlands and the Islands; the meeting place between land and sea. A perfect, sheltered harbour makes it the principal seaport for the Isles and the capital of the West Highlands. It has a mild, temperate climate, warmed by the Gulf Stream and washed (too often, some might say) by the soft rain that often falls hereabouts. This misty, briny character, with a background of heather and peat, is perfectly echoed in the malt whisky produced at Oban. Fine single malt whisky has been made here for over 200 years, in one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland.”
“Oban™ is made using only the finest barley, malted to the distillery's own particular specification. Partly germinated barley is gently dried in a kiln where a light peat smoke gives the malt a distinctive character and taste. The result is the smoky, malty dryness in the flavour and finish of Oban™. The stills used are among the smallest in Scotland; the cramped nature of the site is attested to by the odd position of the worm tubs, fed by unusually short lyne arms, and nestled in the ‘vee’ between the roofs of the still house and an adjoining building.”
For me, Oban™ has a rich sweetness and fruits - oranges, lemons and pears, with a slight sea-salt and peaty smokiness.
I suggest that if you are serious about trying single malt scotches, you do it by tasting “THE SIX CLASSIC MALTS OF SCOTLAND” of United Distillers. They are particularly selected to best represent each of the malt whiskey producing regions of Scotland. They embrace the full diversity of regional tastes and styles.
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