Oban 18 Year

Review #38: Oban 18 Year

Distillery: Oban

Region: Highlands

ABV: 43%

Age: 18 Year

Price: $90 (normally $115)

Color: 1.1, Burnished. Unfortunately color added and chill-filtered.

Nose (according to the wife): Brown sugar and fresh cut flowers make up the nose. It’s very pleasant without any of the ethanol burn.

Palate: Extremely smooth. There is a bit of sweetness in the form of some brown sugar/dark honey and cooked down oranges and apples followed by a bit floral tea and orange rind bitterness. With a bit of water, more of those cooked down fruits appear and it really reminds me of a not-so-sweet marmalade. Very delicious. One thing I noted though was the distinct lack of the salty sea air from the 14 year old edition.

Finish: Long. You get some aged, toasted oak notes which are well-tempered and lovely along with some more of that dark honey.

Conclusion: Whisky review #50! I didn’t think I had gone through this many yet. This is the second of the early Christmas trio from my lovely wife, the first was an 18 year old Loch Lomond. Every Oban I’ve had has been great and this one is no exception. It is incredibly smooth and easy to drink. The nose really teases what you’re about to get. The sweetness in the palate marries very well with the slight bitterness to provide a well balanced flavor profile. Letting this one age for a few more years has really let it mature and develop into a great drink. The one thing I kind of miss is a little bit of saltiness. While it was almost overpowering in the 14 year old, the complete absence of it makes me wish for it. Would I buy another bottle? While very good, I don’t know if it’s worth the price hike from the 14 year old edition—which is almost doubled ($60 to $115). At the price we found it for, I probably would.

Final Score: 90

Scotch whisky review #38, Highland review #8, Whisky Network Review #50

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection.
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead

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