Oban

Review: Cladach Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (Diageo Special Releases 2018) by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Diageo.

Image courtesy of Diageo.

ABV
57.1%
Aging
First-fill ex-bourbon, refill American oak, refill European oak, Ex-sherry European oak
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Blend of malts from Clynelish, Inchgower, Oban, Talisker, Caol Ila, and Lagavulin

This is a relative rarity in the Diageo Special releases - a blended malt. This one is focused on coastal distilleries, hoping to convey a general maritime character. “Cladach” means shoreline.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: Diageo Special Releases 2018

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

What a nice whisky! The nose starts with toffee, mixed spice, a touch of sulphur, smoke, roasted meat, light tropical notes, washed-up seaweed, vanilla, and a touch of rubber. Slightly floral, too. The palate blooms with smoke, charred chickpeas, a kick of tropical fruit, and a touch of youth that works really well with its untamed presence. The lagavulin in it is just beautifully integrated. It is phenomenal at cask strength - it starts sweet, goes oily and tropical, then ashy, and fruity. The finish has rock pools, vanilla, clove, and cedar. It is very nice.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Very Low (based on $312 - though you might get a better deal)


Review: Oban 21 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Diageo Special Releases 2018) by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Diageo.

Image courtesy of Diageo.

ABV
57.9%
Aging
21 Years; Refill European Oak Butts
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Oban (Oban,Scotland)

One of the most highly anticipated bottlings of the 2018 Diageo Special Releases - a cask strength Oban, natural colour, and 21 Years Old. Oban 14 is a favourite of countless Scotch drinkers, so it is only natural that many got so excited by this.

I split this sample with Emmett Hossack of whiskyscores.com. His review is here.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: Diageo Special Releases 2018

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

The nose is oaky, with light dried fruits, lots of spice (increases with the addition of water), a great “old” smell, like the reference section of a library, hazlenut, biscuits, marmelade, pear, rosehips, and milk chocolate. Spicy and creamy.

The plaate is big, spicy, fruity, with a developing set of flavours. Dried peach, cinnamon, almond…A nice warming finish - this is very pleasant. The finish is fruity (dried stone fruit), spicy, and lightly tannic. Richer and deeper than the 14, which is a bit sweeter and focused a bit more on caramel.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Very low, at $680.


Review: Oban Little Bay Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Oban Little Bay 1.jpg
ABV
43%
Aging
Sherry, refill, new oak, and "small" oak casks
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Oban (Oban,Scotland)

I like Oban. Whenever someone asks for a classic, easy Scotch, I often think Oban. This is a non-age-statement (NAS) offering from the distillery which has historically just released its classic 14 year old and a finished distiller’s edition. As with the other Diageo-owned distilleries, a NAS offering has been put forward from Oban (like with Talisker with the Storm or Caol Ila with the Moch).

The whisky is matured in european oak sherry, refill casks, and new oak casks before being married in small oak casks.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L7282CM011 00012784

  • Bottling Date: 2017

A clean, fruity nose - light tropical fruits (pineapple, breadfruit, banana, and guava), mixed orange and lemon peel, baked apples, vanilla, creme brulee, white pepper, dried ginger, and pear. It has a growing nose of dried fruit and spice (that’s the sherry cask) with even more orange. Light earthiness integrated as well...quite nice. The palate has toffee, pear, light malt, lightly toasted bread, marmelade, with a slight earthiness and smoke towards the finish. It comes together very nicely. Slightly earthy on the finish with pear, good maltiness, clove, and toffee. Ever so lightly bitter. Kudos for staying above 40%.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, based on $100.


Review: Oban 14 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Oban 14.jpg
ABV
43%
Aging
14 Years
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Oban (Oban,Scotland)

Nice bottle. Another one of the original 6 Diageo Classic Malts collection, representing the highlands (Oban is a beautiful area of Scotland, if you ever want to visit). Also, not a huge distillery - only producing two whiskies in their core range, and Diageo's second smallest distillery.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Lots of fruit on the nose. Light earthiness. Oranges, lemon, vanilla, and very clean malt (i.e. not a lot of cereal aromas) – not one that immediately comes out at you. Lightly complex. Vanilla, manuka honey, parmesan cheese, light sherry note.

The palate is dry, with a ton of citrus! Orange, plums, prunes, currants, plum jam, rosehip jam, cardamom, mint.

Fades to spices and a light bit of oak, alongside candied fruit and almond. A lot going on!

I quite like the dryness of the palate – I do tend to like dry whiskies (dry as in feel, not as in unsweet)

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, based on $110.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L6252DM000 57627439

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Peach, fresh pineapple, wildflower honey, dried peach, marmelade all easily present on the nose. The palate leads in with the soft fruits and then earthy barley comes in. Lightly sweet, with the dried fruits coming in but ending with the barley and the oak. Lots of nice spices emerging on the finish – nutmeg, clove, artichoke, and some marmelade. I quite like the interplay of the dried stone fruits with the spice and the oak – both on the end of the palate and on the finish.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, based on $110.