Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Oban Distillery

Oban Distillery
Stafford Street
Argyll PA34 5NH

West Highlands, Scotland - Active

Flavour profile

Oban whisky, to me, is something very Oriental. There's a lot of Chinese sour plums in there, as well as Japanese nori (dried seaweed for sushi), in addition to sherry, peat, and lots of tasty sweet things.

The Wordle below is interesting - Oban whisky seems to always have sherry and peat, as well as a basic sweet salty taste. The sherry and peat then tends to followed by lots of sweet notes, as well as the odd savoury note. The whisky is usually quite oily and heavy on the tongue.

All the Obans I've tasted so far are here.

Oban 14 yo (OB) - good
Oban 1992 Distiller's Edition (1992/2006) (OB) - good
Oban 32 yo 1969/2002 Cask Strength (OB) - very good

Distillery history

Founded 1794 by brothers John and Hugh Stevenson. Goes through a long chain of owners before finally being bought by the Oban Distillery Company in 1923. The ODC, through mergers and acquisitions, was eventually folded into Diageo. The distillery was silent from 1931 to 1937, and again from 1969 to 1972, and for a few months in 1991.

The distillery is an urban distillery. There aren't many of these left. The flagship 14 yo bottling was chosen as one of Diageo's Classic Malts, representing the West Highlands. The malt also goes into Dewar's and Old Mull.

Potted distillery facts

Water source: Gleann and Bhearraidh Lochs.
Washbacks: Four, European larch, 36,000 litres each.
Wash stills: One, constricted neck, 18,800 litres.
Spirit stills: One, constricted neck, 8,296 litres.
Spirit still Lyne arm: Unusually short.
Production per year: 700,000 litres.

- The Scottish Whisky Distilleries, Misako Udo

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