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Oban 14 Year Old

Average score from 32 reviews and 165 ratings 82

Oban 14 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Oban
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 14 year old

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Oban 14 Year Old

We visited Oban this past summer and found it quite charming. The distillery tour was a lot more fun than what I expected from Oban’s parent company Glen Mordor er, I mean Diageo. I can’t believe I’ve never reviewed the standard 14 year Oban here, so why not do it now?

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted): quite fruity, oranges, peaches, maybe pears, a touch of salt and a hint of peat smoke.
  • Palate (undiluted): easy arrival (smoooooth), more fruitiness, malty, some honey, a touch of sea salt
  • Finish: longer than expected from a “light and easy” malt whisky, some peat smoke, more maltiness, and sea salt lingering.

Oban 14 is more enjoyable than most other “mild” whiskies I’ve had. It’s not my go-to, nor is it a bold in-your-face whisky but it’s a nice “quiet night with a good book” kind of malt.


Old review from November 2015; I scribbled this one down at a very interesting joint in Cuenca (Spain) named Jovi: it was a dark, leather-laden, English-styled old pub right in the middle of the old historic town (World Heritage Site, btw.)

I didn't know back then about its falling between the characteristics of Island and Highland whiskies, so we'll find out together if what I found back then fits that description.

We start with rather a pale pour, almost straw-hued yellow (remember the joint was very dark, so the pic isn't completely fair about this: the scotch looks much darker, but that's an illusion.)

Aroma is citrus-y (mostly lemon peel), malty (breakfast cereal), and it even has a tinge of yogurt. In the mouth it's smooth and balanced, with some evident smoky notes, leading to a green pineapple aftertaste.

So, if you ask me, I'd say yes: we have the smoky Island accent on the palate and the maltier Highland side in the nose, thus I'll buy that idea behind the "West Highland" style.


It had been quite a few years since I last tried the Oban 14 Year Old. Unwarranted neglect, I might add, for every time I try it, I quite like it. The nose has a malty heart with honey and citrus fruit, but also a nice smokiness and loads of pepper. I get some figs and something that reminds me of the sea. This is a nice and aromatic nose. It is quite full of flavor and pretty feisty. Loads of heather, pepper and some maritime elements. In the rather short finish, the saltiness returns, with some toffee. Admittedly, it is not the kind of grand malt that makes you lyrical, but still it delivers what you pay for. Thanks, Pat!


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.


There are no surprises with this scotch. For the most part, what you smell... is what you taste... is how it finishes. The flavors and aromas from this scotch remind me of my favorite dessert and tropical fruits. It puts off some heat, but is not particularly smokey. Somewhat similar results come from drinking out of a snifter vs. drinking from a scotch tumbler. Very smooth, sweet, and easy to drink...

  • From scotch tumbler, small splash of water Nose-20: very clean, leather, orange, malt, white sugar Palate-22: warming cherry wood, peach, mango, prickly orange, pecan pie, pie crust Finish-21: lingering leather, fruity heat, butter cookies, peach tea Balance-24: so so smooth, thick, but not syrupy Overall-87:

  • From snifter, small splash of water Nose-21: oranges, honey, white sugar, saw dust Palate-22: pecan pie, pie crust, peaches, brown sugar, oranges Finish-20: long-warming citrus and peach flavors, prickly brown sugar, and butter cookies Balance-24: again, very smooth, holds flavors for prolonged periods of time, very enjoyable Overall-87

Thanks, I'm having fun with it. Typically I'll write the two segments on different days and combine them later in a post. I think that the Oban 14yr is the perfect scotch to give as a gift, or to order on behalf of someone at the bar (if available). It is well received more often than not.

Very interesting structure on the review, i like it! Also seems like i have to give this Oban a chance someday, a lovely place it is too!


One of the prettiest bottles/tubes in my cabinet. The drawings of rocks, surf and sea gulls makes one think the contents will be dominated by coastal briny flavours but that doesn’t prove to be the case. I love the tall straight bottle which pours quite a dark amber liquor, although the colour of the whisky might be exaggerated by the contrast with the pale labelling.

The aromas are an odd but appetising combination of fruit (pears and mango), barley malt and a faint hint of petrol. On the palate the true character of this malt comes to the fore, it’s a dry almost stony flavour. Anyone who’s tried their hand at flint napping will be familiar with the smell that comes off the stones after their struck, this malt tastes like that smell. There are plenty of tropical fruit flavours, hints of peat, malt and salt to complete a very interesting mouthful. The finish is medium length, malty and dry.

I can’t think of any other malt that is similar to this, perhaps Clynlish is the closest, but it’s still markedly different. I doubt it’ll ever be that fashionable a flavour profile, it’s not sweet enough, but for a hip flask on a long wilderness walk I can think of nothing I’d rather.

Nice review, and I agree with how you find some similarities to it's east coast rival Clynelish.

One thing that we hear about Oban; it's a small distillery with a limited output (hence the higher pricing), but yet - any 'decent' liquor store has it in stock...Curious, but yet a whisky that'll always find a place in my cabinet.

They probably don't shift much so a few bottles hang around a long time on the shelves.


Available in a lot of pubs in the UK as a member of Diageo's 'Classic Malts' range I thought I would try a bottle of Oban. With only two small stills, traditional worm tubs and very little room to expand due to its position in the centre of town production is quite limited despite its apparent popularity, leading to q fairly high price in the UK for a standard bottling.

Nose - Leather and salt at first, with a hint of peat but becomes fruity in time. Cooked fruits, plum jam, later some raisins and lots of fresh ginger and ginger spice, with malty Ovaltine, hints of vanilla essence and dried figs.

Palate - Soft mid-palate arrival, quite sweet at first with plums, baked apples, developing into dried figs, malt, some orange marmalade, brown sugar and bitter toffee, then lots of gingerbread and sweet ginger preserve, cinnamon sugar, and stewed tea, with touches of peat and salt.

Finish - Fairly dry, gingerbread spice leaves a tingle on the tongue along with some dry vanilla, cinnamon with savoury salted cashew nuts and mildly bitter oak and black tea, leaving a medium to long savoury-bitter finish.

A gentle dram, doesn’t pack a huge punch with the flavour but is pleasant, interesting and complex in time with a good finish. I would certainly recommend it, and I would buy another bottle, but there are other malts I would go for beforehand.

I have been reading reviews whenever I open a new bottle.... Really like your notes on this one. Thanks for sharing.


Nose: Green Apple, Citrus, Honey, Dried Fruit. Light and very pleasant. F

Taste: More light fruit and honey. Slightly nutty.

Finish: A Slightly smoky, slightly medicinal taste comes in and in a way reminds me of camphor. Lingers nicely on the pallet.

Well balanced, but fairly straight forward and one dimensional. I enjoy it, but I wish there was more complexity.


Oban's standard 14 year offering is quite smooth and velvety. This said, in my estimation at least, it lacks character. In other words, it is a touch bland.

Nose: Walnuts, oak, white chocolate, hemp ropes.

Palate: Dried oak, caramel, vanilla bean, white toast with apricot jelly.

Finish: Medium, with an echo of caramel, toasted grains, and oak.

I feel as if the Oban has changed a bit over the past few years. It seems sweeter to me and less complex. This said, it's very enjoyable.

87 is a pretty high rating for a whisky that "lacks character" ;) I'm no fan of the Oban, I tried the 14yo and had the opportunity to try one of their 9yo casks at the distillery, but I found nothing redeemable in their whiskies. Oban is one of the weaker distilleries in my books

The Oban 14 yr is a solid dram; not overly complex, but it'll satisfy most folks out there who do enjoy a single malt whisky.

My only beef is that this will set ya back roughly $65 to $70, and IMHO there are quite a few 'better' single malts in that price range that'll surpass what the Oban has to offer.


It is amazing how much Oban 14 year old is like a crossover of usual Islay and Speyside stuff. This Highlander surely is a crossbreed of fruity smoothness and heavy smoke but something falls short. There's no real character.

With Oban 14 yrs, every good scent and taste stays at the background and doesn't want to step up. There is some character but it doesn't want to get out. Oban 14 yrs is like a good Ben Affleck movie – those exist and they are good but they still have Ben Affleck in them. Take State of Play for instance.

Nose: Burning bonfire smoke fades away bringing some medicinal notes and fermented fruits. There's also something very pointy and repulsive, like drying paint.

Taste: Thick and smooth. Oak, malt, wine and fruits.

Finish: Very strongly sour and dry at first, like chewing painted wood. Then some nice faints of smoke rise along with hints of fruit. Long finish but still the weakest part.

Balance: Sophisticated smoke, quite rich but not the most consistent drams I've tasted.

Although I see where you're coming from here, I think it does actually have a (subtle) character - it's a SALTY dram! At least to my palate...

I assume you like a clear 'element' to stick out in your Scotch, which I do understand - and in that case this isn't going to knock you over.

But the balance is exactly why I like it actually, though each to their own!

I am bit harsh when it comes to smoky drams (which are usually my favorite ones). And the taste is actually good in Oban 14 yrs (as I gave it 22 points). The nose and finish are the ones, I expected more of.


Warm steady complex thick fruity balanced arrival develops a pleasant long slow steamed vegetable finish.

When I can't find Lagavulin, Bowmore or Laphroig... Oban will do... For me, it's fine but not outstanding in any way. i'm a big fan of Islay malts so there are all good to me...


This whisky is VERY bitter. I can't have more than half a glass of it, which is a pity because it is otherwise very nice, though it definitely has a more lowland flavour profile. I liken it to Cragganmore in how well balanced the peat and malt flavours are (though of course cragganmore is not bitter and far more complex and fragrant). Maybe the high alcohol contributes to the bitterness. Pity.

Give it time, it may just be the salt. My bottle balanced out after several months of being opened, becoming more sweat. However I never got any overwhelming bitter notes, maybe it's an off batch. How old is the bottle?

Mmmn. It's not as bad now. Either I was in the wrong frame of palate when I tried it first or a little oxygen sorted it. Now that I'm back drinking it, it's definitely tail-heavy like lowlands like Glenkinchie. Definitely not worth the huge price. I'd go for Cragganmore or Glenmorangie or even Talisker every time, and pay less.


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...

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.

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.


very complex, medicinal alcohol up front with a flowery aroma behind it. Taste starts with sweet caramel followed by a touch of spicy pepper. As I swallow I get lots of complex oak, leather, a touch of smoke, boiled peanuts. Very long finish that lingers.

Overall this has a very nice balance and the finish holds on to your tongue so that you can keep thinking and exploring.

Incidentally, I bought a bottle of each (the Oban 14 yo and the Clynelish 14 yo) on the same day about a year ago. The Clynelish is long gone, while I'm sipping the Oban right now. An excellent dram though: not quite sweet, not quite salty, perfectly balanced... think I need a refill to find those leather notes.

As a fan of the Oban 14 yr myself - may I suggest you try the Clynelish 14 yr...IMHO the finish is even better with the Clynelish.


I had heard so much about this one, but no one could keep it in stock. I finally stumbled across a bottle that had been sitting on the shelf of a small liquor store for some time, so I paid whatever they wanted without the benefit of having tasted it first. That was $70 US. Ouch, but this better be worth it. I was then told that this distillery has trouble meeting demand, which explains the high price.

It is light and smoky and a very good scotch, but there are a few others that taste slightly better to me and at a cheaper price. It looks like I won't be buying a bottle for home consumption again, but if I see it in a bar, I would certainly order over any blend or popular malt. And as someone else pointed out, if like Clynelish 14, then you will probably also like this one.

MisterDigger - it appears you're on a "Malt Mission"; exploring the single malt universe one dram at a time!

I must agree with your review; although it is a staple in my caninet - it is a bit pricey when compared to other malts in the same age/quality range as the Oban 14 yr.

"Wine searcher . com" is a great resource for finding any type of spirit for a reasonable price...Keep in mind it's usually best to buy multiple to save on shipping.

I am very fortunate to live in an area whereby I can almost snap my finger and find any single malt that I am willing to pay for within easy reach. This works great in side by side comparisons, as you will see when I get to my Three Aberlours in a few days.


I got this at costco for 55 dollars, at bevmo it is 74 and at a liquor store it can cost in the 80's-90's. Now then on with the review. Nose: Oranges, peaches, pears, sea salt almost like being at the beach, marzipan, and honey, smoke and some peat. Palate: Salt, sweet peaches, tart oranges, some smoke, honey, marzipan, spices. Finish: Lively, smokey, sweet, peaches, some spice it slowly fades into the background as it diminishes inviting you back.

It's $77 in Portland Or. too high for this guy. At $55 I would buy for sure. Yes, Costco is a behemouth of a chain, but the prices do help one's pocketbook these days

About $75 plus tax here in NC. Hell, our Costcos don't even have good beer! I would stock it at $55. One of my favorites.


First vapor: Soapy cardamom and potpourri.

Nose: Any peat shows itself lightly, like chalk. After a few minutes, it opens into the main aroma: vanilla with the pulps of pear and green grape. Only slightly saline. This is reminiscent of chardonnay or some of the Glenfiddich malts, and overbreathing makes it seem like honeydew.

Palate: Green grape, chardonnay with gingery honeydew. Then a transition to salty lemon cream with pine.

Finish: The salty lemon vanilla gets progressively drier, to chalky oak with liquorice and pale sage.

A surprisingly elegant expression, containing an enjoyable complexity of accenting flavors. Somehow I really expected some substantial peat here, maybe by reputation. Instead, this is a refined yet somewhat rich malt, evoking white wine with honeydew and those interesting pine and savory spices.


Oban has always been a special whisky for me. I first tasted Oban the night before my wife and I picked up our new chocolate lab puppy (Porter). Now almost three years to the date of the anniversary of Porter’s homecoming I’m now celebrating the homecoming of my first son James (born 6.6.13) on this very special Father’s Day. So in honor of my son and the best dog a man could have, I raise my glass!

This was tasted neat in a Glencairn glass. This bottle appears to have been bottled in 2011 based on the code on the bottle (112842241). The bottle was opened last year on my 35th birthday, so it’s been open for a year and 4 days to be exact. About 3 inches remain in the bottle. Once the bottle got about half way finished I used Private Preserve to maintain its flavor.

Nose: A little peaty, salty (like a warm ocean breeze), light smoke, a little floral.

Taste: Salty, like the residue that’s left on our lips after a surf or a long walk on the beach. Not only is it pleasantly salty, it’s sweet without being cloying. Maybe malty would be a better way of describing it, there is also a hint of vanilla. I do remember the saltiness and the peatiness being more up front when the bottle was first opened. The bottle really aged well after a month or so of being opened; the saltiness and sweetness really balanced out after a little time.

Finish: Rather short, but that’s not a bad thing for this scotch. Again the salt comes into play and it’s rather dry, as you would expect. I think if the finish were much longer the salt would dominate the flavor profile. Overall, I really love the balance between the salty and sweet.

Oban will always be on of my favorite whiskies. The memories, the flavor profile, and what it does to my senses. While I’m truly in love with this whisky, it maybe a while before I restock it. I will always order a dram for those special occasions in life or anytime I’m pining to be near the coast, but for the money there are a lot better whiskies to be had at a reasonable cost. In fact, I’m pretty impressed with the most recent bottle of Bunnahabhain 12 I got. All in all this is a great whisky, while it may be a bit one-dimensional for some of the peat freaks and sherry-heads, you can’t deny its quality. If the price tag were a little lower, I would imagine the ratings would be higher. Also fair warning should be given for those who taste it for the first time from a freshly opened bottle, this is one of those whiskies that gets better with time. Anyway a must try whisky. Here’s to family!

Congratulations on the birth of your son!

Thanks! It was a very special Father's Day.


Sampled by itself, neat, room temperature.

Nose: The warmth of the whisky really penetrates deep into the nose. It's a sharp sensation. A little bit of cinnamon faintly apparent. Strong oak throughout.

Palate: Again, quite warm and strong oak flavours. There's some spice there. Tastes a little bit like cayenne. A fair bit of peat comes through as well.

Finish: Lingers fairly consistently. A lot of flavours I like (if I had to nail one down, I'd go so far as to say I notice a bit of rosemary).


My wife just picked me up a 24 bottle whisky sample pack for Christmas. She picked it up from Master of Malt based off my oh so very subtle hints based off an email I sent her asking for it for Christmas.

This was a good thing as up to then neither of us really had an idea on a good gift for me for Christmas.

Even better is that the large majority of whisky samples in the pack were from whiskies/distilleries that I'd never tried before and a couple of the whiskies that I had tasted before I'd never sat down and contemplated them before so even better!

The first sample I tried was a Dalwhinnie 15 yr old and the next one up was a whisky I'd tasted before, but under less then ideal conditions.

Oban 14 yr old.

Now the first time I'd tried this whisky was in an Irish restaurant, after discovering that this was the only whisky they had that I'd never tried before.

Sadly the dram came out in a massive tumbler, from a half full bottle which after trying this sample seems like it was largely oxidized.

So I decided to crack open this sample next in order to give it a try.

Nosing it in it's glencairn the first odors to hit the nose is citrus with honey, then oak develops with peat smoke and always an undertone of salt.

Interesting nose, especially with the salt, but honestly not a nose that makes me eager to take a sip.

However whisky isn't just for nosing, it's also for tasting.

Odd palate. Sweet with salty. Pears, apples, vanilla, honey and through it all is salt.

A drying mouthfeel and finish. Faint fruit and lingering salt ends the whisky.

This for me had the potential to be a really cool whisky, especially with the salt, however sadly the salt dominates every aspect of this whisky.

I'd still call this an entry level single malt, however at $85 or so AUS it's not a whisky that I'd ever pick up in it's current form.

A very interesting review, makes me want to try some. Ive had it a few times before...but years ago before I actually tasted whisky properly, and I cannot recall its taste at all. The saltiness sounds interesting, is it a strong sea salt type of taste?

Definitely my friend! Actually sort of reminds me of when I'm at the beach and the waves are coming in high and I get knocked to my knees and I wind up swallowing some water. But more pleasant :D Definitely worth a taste!


Color: Perfectly gold.

Nose: quite fruity and floral. Pine needles and sea spray. Wisp of soap.

Body: medium and smooth.

Palate: a spoonful of salt in the mouth. Lemon-butter and toffee.

Finish: A little smoke and peat. Almonds. Taste of salt lingers for a long, long time.

For a few years now, Oban 14 has been my preferred Scotch. My first bottle was a gift from my brother-in-law, and compared to the Glenfiddich and Glenlivet 12's I'd started on, it was incredibly smooth and luxurious. It's been my go-to special occasion whiskey ever since. In the past year, however, I've expanded my palate quite a bit (exploring Islay malts for the first time, among others), to the point that I'm almost afraid to review the Oban now. This Scotch is a friend. What if a careful assessment finds it wanting?

Well, I can officially confirm that Oban is no longer my preferred whiskey, but it still has my attention. Several of the varieties I've tried in the past year offer more complex and rewarding experiences, particularly considering the price-point. That said, I remain emotionally connected to this Scotch, and expect it will always remain among my creature comforts. It is a solid step-up from the introductory Speysides, and a good jumping off point for more challenging varieties.


Nose: A medley of sherry, citrus, and mineral notes, with none dominating. A nice nose - and pleasant - but not very "inviting."

Palate: Has the mineraly/chalky texture, with vanilla, faint sherry, black pepper, and citrus. Some saltiness too, which gives it a fair coastal feel. Mouthfeel is alright - thankfully this is at 43% instead of 40%.

Finish: The finish does linger nicely with many of the same palate notes. No complaints!

Oban is nice. Nothing to rock your world, but more interesting than some basic malts. That said, I could easily list a few much cheaper malts that I like more, which means Oban isn't a very good value (at least around here it's not). Pennsylvania is currently selling this for the ludicrous price of $75, which I will PASS on. I bought this in a different state for $60, which is still probably a bit more than what it's worth.


I bought a bottle of Oban 14 yo on the recommendation of a well-informed store clerk. I knew reviews on this one were all over the place, but the clerk's analysis convinced me it was worth a shot.

My first impression was...meh. Not bad, not great. I'll finish the bottle eventually. But I thought it unlikely that it would ever be one of my go-to whiskies.

Then I began to appreciate it as a perfect evening-ender. I have a few drams about two or three days per week, and I usually start light, move to moderate, and end with a peat blast.

Ending with a big Islay peat, however, left a pine-y sweetness in the back of my mouth, and I found myself craving something salty to balance it out. Oban was perfect for this purpose. As a follow-up to an Ardbeg or a Lagavulin, it tasted more delicious than ever.

It's still not a whisky I'd choose if I wanted just a single dram. But it's found its spot in my Sunday-afternoon tasting sessions, and it's now a must-have on my shelf.

Like your point of view, because I feel the same. Often the whisky before influences my tasting a ton. Though it's nice to have a big variety of flavors, I can't compare or describe the dram very well. Maybe I should drink more water between 2 drams ;)

@Victor, I'm sipping an Oban at the moment, and I do indeed notice it's getting sweeter (the bottle level is about down to the name on the label). Still enough middle-of-the-tongue salt tingle to serve its purpose, however!


Nose: An interesting mix of dry grassy notes and sea smells. Tomato stems. Citrus rind. A wee suggestion of sweet malt in here as well. And cherry, which oddly starts me on catching a fair bit of bourbon notes in this. (particularly of Bulleit bourbon... coincidentally, owned by Diageo as well). Not sure if this is just my imagination... although I will say that I picked out the Bulleit notes before I knew they were a Diageo brand. I've seen mention that Oban 14 is sherry cask matured in other reviews, but haven't be able to pin down any factual data. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know. For now... I'm stickin' with the bourbon notes.

Taste: Sweet malty start... sustained. Heather honey, sweet cherry. Again... some bourbon flavours in here. This whisky coats the tongue nicely without having too much of an oily feel. Spice kicks in, building slowly then gets dry. Sea air and grassy notes come back, now with with dry leather and parchment.

Finish: Dry and fairly long. Spice and a mild smokiness keeps the mouth tingling pleasantly. Salty leather. A woody vanilla note emerges and get sweeter as time passes eventually evolving to a faint aftertaste of walnuts and apple pie.

About a third of the way through the bottle, and now I get some prominent licorice notes in both the taste and finish... Especially when a bit of water is added.


Oban's distillery backs onto the town's coast, and the fresh sea air that must permeate through the streets of the town also finds itself charmingly aligned with a smoky quality in its whisky. That is not to say that the nose is simply a bombarding of harsh sensations; quite the opposite. After repeated nosings, hints of orange and pear emerge and balance the whisky out perfectly (surely where the sherry casks have had their influence). If one is patient enough, citrus fruits join the party.

These fruits become ever more abundant in the tasting. The whisky takes on a lovely sweet flavour, with repeated and intense bursts of fruit emerging. It is a rich and complex whisky, not least because the sea air makes a return just as the whisky goes down.

The sea air commences a finish that is both long and pleasant. A release of smoke hits the palate, followed by the merest hint of liquourice. The fruits, having been pushed to one side, make their return once the smoke has bowed off the stage, leaving the mouth with sweet sensations abounding.

It is no surprise that the town has built up around the distillery. This is a superb whisky that deserves all the accolades it has received. Now, please excuse me whilst I pour another glass...


Nose: full of orchard fruits like pears and oranges, there's a lovely sea-salt smell and well-balanced level of peaty smoke. More subtle notes of marzipan and a curious scent that reminded me of brown bread. Adding water brings pears and melons to the forefront and a honey sweetness appears.

Palate: an excellent blend and balancing act of salt, sweetness and smoke. A delicious sherry cask influence with fruity goodness. Adding water tames the smoke and relegates it to the background, allowing the floral notes to come through a little more.

Body: fairly thick, coats the tongue and very slightly sticky in texture/feel.

Finish: dominated by smoke and a very dry dram.


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.

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.

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.


Nose: Much fruit; orange and pear. Seaside and peat smoke. Almost like walking through a coastal orchard. Long legs.

Palate: Very rich, fall fruit and spice, white wine.

Finish: Medium finish. Dry sweet oak, a faint saltiness, black walnut.

Oban was my introduction to the highland malts. I don't find this as tantalizing as Dalwhinnie 15, or as smooth as Aberfeldy 12, but it is a fine Highland malt all the same. This is one of the few I enojoy more with a drop of water. Definitely a good dram from time to time.


Just opened up a new bottle: the Highlander Oban 14 year old. Not much of an elegant bottle, but a special label to say the least.

The aroma is very pleasant aroma, with notes of chardonnay and a whiff of peat, but not too much. Rather salty. It's almost like you can smell the sea. I like it.

The saltiness is confirmed upon the first drop on the tongue, with a bit of honey. A tiny bit like cookies, too. Not bad, but not great either.

The finish, rather short and dry, has a lot of salt, but also toffee in it.

Without a doubt quite enjoyable for a lot of people, especially as an aperitif to seafood or after a return from a walk on the beach.


The nose is rich and sweet - fruity with vanilla and wood tones with a hint of smoke and a little salt. Straightforward but more than pleasant.

The taste is full and rich, with honey and spice mixed with fruits. It rolls through my mouth elegantly, ending with a tingle from the spice that leaves my mouth dry and warm.

The finish is long and smooth - vanilla sweet, with a hint of smoke and gentle peat over an undertone of wood.

This is probably the only single malt I would describe as graceful and elegant. While other single malts have outstanding balance, you always get the feeling that the balance comes from a lot of time and effort on the part of the distiller. This one, however, feels to me like it just comes naturally, and isn't the end result of many years of careful tinkering, and yet is still excellent.

It's not in my top 10 malts, but not by much. It definitely has its own character, and it is certainly worth a look.

@jdcook, both the good sample and the uninspiring sample were sampled at different restaurants, so it is hard to say how long the bottles had been opened. Most likely both of the bottles had been open for quite a substantial length of time, but I really don't know.

@GlassBottle - I had another pour of this and very much enjoyed it - I would say sitting in the bottle emphasizes the saltiness, and all to the better of the dram - the dram I had tonight would have rated more like an 87 or 88... ;)


Nose: sweet and smokey

Body: Full-flavored and assertive but not over robust. Smoke flows throughout.

Palate: Slight bite, but the smooth smokey sweet taste blends into an equally tasteful finish. Smoke lingers slightly in the palate for a few seconds. Unlike Bowmore, this whiskey does not overwhelm you with smoke.

I agree with your 7.5 rating. A friend gave me a couple of samples a few days ago(a group of 4 of us are swapping 2oz flasks) and I tasted just what you did. I like it, I like it....but I'm not sure I'd go out and buy a bottle of it. Maybe with more tastings, I'll come to appreciate it more.

I have yet to purchase another bottle to date. My one friend still has an opened bottle of this that he never drinks himself. So when I am there, I 'm happy to drink it for him. Have you ever tried Macellan 18?


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