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Oban 14 Year Old

The Grainy Seas

0 682

@joshkReview by @joshk

19th Jun 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is one of my original favorite single malts from when I first moved from bourbon/rye whiskies into scotch. Part of that may also have to do with me buying this particular bottle to keep me and a friend occupied on the night of his soon-to-be wife bachelorette party. I had tasted it several times before and had been looking for an excuse to buy. I'm now finishing the last 1/3 of the bottle.

Nose: Gentle fruits followed by a bit of sea salt and some oakiness. A touch of smoke creeps in as well.

Taste: Depending on where it hits your tongue the salt will be the first bit you taste or the last. Can be drying. The fruit flavors now seem darker on the palate, showing the sherry influence. Definitely a malty profile and still a bit of peat smoke.

Finish: Still drying with a woody vanilla sweetness that gives way to the lightest bit of smoke. Citrus tingle lasts just a tad longer.

One of the main distinguishing points of this whisky is it's middle of the road-ness. It has a touch of the islands (salt, smoke) while still fitting a highland profile. I guess that is part of what makes it good but not great.

Related Oban reviews


Crys commented

I bought a bottle of this a couple months ago and found it to be a bit sharp and rough around the edges. To get the most out of this whisky it needed a very small amount of water and some time to open up.

You're spot on with your comment about it being middle of the road. Those were my first impressions too.

Although personally I don't think it's a very good value for money whisky. It's mainly because you pay a slight premium for the age, but the overall quality doesn't reflect the price. There are better whiskies at that price point I would rather spend money on.

12 years ago 0

Victor commented

This one does stand strongly on the quality of the flavour of the malt. The first time I tried it I thought, "Ho-hum, I don't need to taste that one again." I did have it again, recently, and liked it a lot more, mainly because the malt flavours seemed quite tasty that time.

It does sound to me that the bottle of @Crys needs time to open up. Some malts will not really open up until the bottle is open 6 months or more. It has taken 7 months for my bottle of Talisker 10 to really open up. It is totally different now than it was when the bottle was first opened.

12 years ago 0

joshk commented

@Victor For the Oban, I found the smoke lighted and the malt/grain taste grew after some time in the opened bottle.

@crys For price point I found this (and a few other Diageo products) vary greatly by distributors. Oban 14 sells for around $80 in New Jersey, USA but can be found for less than $60 in reputable NYC stores. I still agree there are several other whiskies out there that would be better (depending on your palate, or course).

12 years ago 0

jdcook commented

I've found that some Oban bottles do need a little water, but even more so, it's worth opening the bottle and letting it sit for a month or so before having any.

It's not a 'cracking' dram, but is a good, solid, easy drinking and fairly charming malt. I love the bottle, and always enjoy it when I have some, but it is, as they say, middle of the road, with nods in the direction of the heavier and lighter whiskies.

12 years ago 0

Crys commented

@joshk Yep, the going price around here is similar at $80AUD. It's also the price I paid at the time hence my criticism of its value for money. At $70 or less, yes, at $80+, no, I don't think it's worth it.

And yes, it does come down to personal preference as all whiskies do. If you like your whiskies to have a little bit of everything like a Highland Park 12 and some of that pepperyness of a Talisker then there's a high chance you'll like the Oban 14. But if you like your whiskies to have strong, clearly defined and stand-out profiles, then the Oban probably isn't for you.

It's not a bad drop by any means, but it's one of those that needs time, and in my case a little bit of water to show it's full potential and go from a mediocre first impression to a good one.

12 years ago 0

cclward commented

I purchased 4 bottles of this in Newfoundland when it was $ 55.00 / bottle . 5 years later I am on my last bottle and it is priced at $ 99.00 For the price there are indeed more exciting whiskies out there. But there is a simple charm that Oban emits , a beautiful distillery near the gateway to the isles. I will always have Oban in my cabinet , it will not amaze you with complexity but its a just a nice dram to drink on occasion. Thanks for the review.

12 years ago 0

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