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Lots of misconceptions surround this bottle. My understanding is that it was a limited US retail. However, it was only "limited" in its first run. It has since had, at least, one more bottling. The original release was a limited run, and had the bottle number and run listed on the bottle. The current release, which I am reviewing tonight, does not.
First off, I am not an Oban aficionado. I do not like the standard 14 YO, and do not care for the finished DE either. I selected this bottle after the Talisker 18 shot above 125.00. This is my fourth purchase of this whisky. Yes, it has become a standard rotation.
So what is different here from the younger official Obans? Well, the malt character is overshadowed by the barrel. There are for sure more wood notes, more vanilla, and more fruitiness in this glass. It is moderately spicy, never bitter, never cloying. It is masterfully smooth. You know what, scratch that. It needs more "o". This whisky is smooooooth. Vanilla and cherry dance around the nose.
With a generous swirl, this is only slightly drying. Finishes sweet, but not overly so. A straight swallow finishes with some watered down cola.
I really like this 18 YO stunner for what I paid for it. WARNING: This varies significantly. In Tennessee, this is 99.00 dollar hooch. In Kentucky, 179.00. What gives? For 100 dollars, it is perfectly acceptable - Sub HP18 / Talisker 18, but good and cheaper.