Oban Distiller’s Edition

Oban DE

The reason this review didn’t get written when we first bought this Scotch a year ago is simple: we drank the damn thing too fast. By common consensus, this is the club’s favorite so far without a doubt. Hence, we decided to treat ourselves to an early Christmas and revisit something we know we enjoy. The bonus is that it now enables us to put our glasses down long enough to write a review. Barely. Distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2012, this is a unique expression from an already wonderful distillery.

Distillery: Oban
Region: Highlands
Age: 15 years
Strength: 43%
Price: $82.98
Location: Oban
Wood: Montilla fino sherry casks
Nose: Nutty, spiced hot chocolate, dry-erase markers, orange peel, campfire
Palate: Brine, maple-bacon, malt, butterscotch, blackberry, apple
Finish: Sweet

Comments: While a few drops of water can take the edge off, a few too extra can be disastrous and ruin an already carefully balanced chemistry. Also, our group discussion of this Scotch resulted in the most bizarre and entertaining page tags yet.

Adam – Part of the fascination of this Scotch is how difficult it is to describe while being so incredibly good. It’s like it somehow bypasses such mundane things as”taste” and goes directly for the endorphin center in your brain. The finish is luxurious, not going too deep but staying with you for the perfect amount of time. If any whisky could be said to hug you from the inside, this would be it. The chief virtue of this Scotch is how amazingly balanced it is, seeming to communicate sentiment rather than taste. It’s like trying to pinpoint precisely why a sunset is beautiful or the right music makes you smile; sometimes you don’t need to know why, you need only bask in the glory. This malt exemplifies to me what a great highland whisky can be, combining fruit and sweet and smoke and the sea, allowing a discerning palate to explore its layers. Fear not, however, for even less-discerning taste buds will appreciate the delicious bounty contained therein. Whereas some Scotches have a few strong notes that blow you away like peat or smoke in an Islay, this one is complex and requires savoring.

Kate – This is something worth putting a hotel “Do Not Disturb” sign out while you’re drinking. Yup, that good. This Scotch cannot be described by mere words, it is an emotion. A feeling.

Meghan –  To roughly quote Levar Burton, ‘you don’t have to take my word for it,’ as it really speaks for itself.  Just go buy this Scotch. Accept the price as a well-deserved splurge and you won’t regret it. This is my go-to recommendation when I’m asked about what kind of Scotch to spend money on. It oddly leaves us at a loss for words because it is just that good. Does it shock and awe? No. But it provides the best of the best in what you want in a Scotch.