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Oban 14 YO is one of those whiskies we've talked about as a malt forward whisky here at Connosr. I suppose one could call it 'barley at the fore' as well, given that the barley is central in all things Oban.
Nose: The barley is immediate and powerful, giving a clear indication of what will follow. There is also pleasant notes of tropical fruits, like mango, along with a malty sweetness, not unexpected in a malt forward whisky like this. Interestingly enough, this sweetness changes into beeswax and faint hint of waxed hemp rope.
Palate: As expected, the palate is dominated by the huge barley character, but the malt sweetness is nicely balanced against the other flavours. I noticed that in spite of being very malty, the sweetness is never sticky or sugary. Again with the tropical fruits, but this time followed by a bit of peat and notes reminiscent of limestone.
Finish: Medium length with a somewhat dry taste, almost like chewing on seeds from certain fruits and berries. The barley evolves towards a slightly more salty finish than the palate.
Comment: A neutral 'scotch', or barley forward. And yet, very enjoyable and with loads of character. @Uisgebetha pointed out that Oban's flavour profile probably won't be fashionable, and I would have to agree. It's not sweet enough for that. I found it to have a dry sweetness about it, but for those of us that enjoy barley, this is spot on.