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Oban 14 Year Old

One Dimensional But Nice Nose

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@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

1st Oct 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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This is a barely average West Highland malt from this small distillery in the coastal town of, yes you guessed it, Oban. Funnily enough it was the distillery that was first named and the town that sprang up around it decided to take the name.

But that's the only thing interesting about this malt, frankly.

OK, so the nose isn't so bad. It's quite fruity actually. Papaya and banana fruity with a touch of husky musk. The nuts come next and bring with it a pinch of salt. Let it breathe and it takes on an interesting Sauvignon Blanc quality. Becomes drier and a touch more apricot fruity.

The palate could have done better, in my opinion. It's the same papaya and apricot sugars with a touch of mild white peppers. Maybe some nuts. Possibly some marzipan. But all of it lacking any real complexity and attitude.

The finish completes the journey downhill as it evaporates in a puff of boring butterscotch. Oh well...

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Victor commented

I ran into a few fans of Oban 14 before I ever tasted any of it. When I finally had my first sample of Oban 14 I thought, "Geez, is THAT all there is?" There wasn't a lot to taste there. When I had some at another time many months later it tasted still quite simple but very mellow and deliciously buttery-sweet. I did like it the second time, and could now understand why some people like it a lot, but it remains a very simple malt. You ferreted out a lot more fruit in your sample of it than I found in mine.

10 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

Same here. Met quite a few fans who were quite mortified that I did not take a shine to it. I think the extra fruits on the nose were a result of extended breathing - I really gave this one a chance. Plus my mind started wandering.

10 years ago 0

PeatyZealot commented

Haha had the same thing. The nose is ok, the initial palate is quite nice with the smoke n all, but it has the finish of a Bacardi Gold...

10 years ago 0

peanutaxis commented

Yeah it's boring. Has the same nose and many similar flavours as Woodford Reserve Bourbon. I think they've done something weird with the oak and you get boring caramel flavours and that's it!

10 years ago 0

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